Darren Weir will use a flat race at Flemington on Saturday to get Gotta Take Care closer to peak fitness and a return to jumps racing.
The horse, who has combined hurdle and flat racing in recent seasons, was scheduled to compete in the Galleywood Hurdle at last month’s Warrnambool carnival but was withdrawn due to feet problems.
Gotta Take Care hasn’t raced since finishing sixth over 2600m at Flemington on Anzac Day.
However, Weir is confident he has the horse back on track and the rising 11-year-old will line up in the third heat of the Banjo Paterson Series (2500m) on Saturday.
The race will be a springboard towards the Brendan Dreschler Hurdle (3600m) at Bendigo on June 28, a race Gotta Take Care has won for the past three years.
“He’s been down at Warrnambool and we seem to have his feet under control,” Weir said.
“He’ll have a bowl around on Saturday and then hopefully come back to the Ballarat stable and we’ll tune him up for Bendigo.
“It will probably be pretty hard for him as he’s missed a lot of racing and he’s a horse that benefits from it.”
Weir will also be represented by Lady Cumquat in the Banjo Paterson.
The mare was tested over Saturday’s 2500m journey for the first time at Moonee Valley last start and finished a solid third to Kareeming, beaten less than a length.
“I reckon horses always run better second go over a trip, so she’ll run well,” Weir said.
Lady Cumquat is on the third line of Banjo Paterson betting at $5 with Gotta Take Care a $21 chance.