BALLARAT trainer Darren Weir played down his role in Gotta Take Care winning the $100,000 Kevin Lafferty Hurdle (3600 metres) at Warrnambool on Saturday.
The top country trainer gave credit for the victory to a set of blinkers.
“Anyone can train this horse,” Weir said.
“I really can’t take any credit for his wins.
“He’s a bulletproof horse.
“The only thing I’ve done is put the blinkers on him for his last couple of runs and they have turned him around.
“He won well at Bendigo last time so I was pretty confident he would run well today.
“His win today shows he loves wet ground which is a real advantage going forward in his career.”
The talented horseman said he might roll the dice again and run Gotta Take Care in next Sunday’s $200,000 Grand National Hurdle at Sandown.
“Gotta Take Care has had six hurdle starts in this preparation,” Weir said on Saturday.
“We’ll take him home and see how he is during the week.
“I expect he’ll be all right because he’s a tough horse.
“I’ve got to give credit to (jockey) John Allen.
“He’s a great asset to our stable.
“He has the ability to ride young horses or old horses.
“He’s a terrific bloke who can sum up various situations which occur when you ride a horse in a jumps races.”
Allen said Gotta Take Care did a great job on the heavy track, but he predicted the horse would perform better on drier racing surfaces.
“I think he’s just a good horse,” he said.
“I reckon he will be better on dry tracks.
“I don’t think he’ll have any worries about running in the Grand National Hurdle next Sunday.
“Gotta Take Care relaxes in his races — that’s one of the keys to why he’s so good in his races.
“He can just switch off and on that’s a big plus for any horse in any race.”
Weir, who has nearly 100 horses in work between his Ballarat and Warrnambool stables, said good staff were the key to the success of his stables.
“I’m really lucky to have good staff in Warrnambool and Ballarat,” he told The Standard.
“Daniel Bowman and Mark O’Donnell do great jobs at Warrnambool. We just send horses down here that need a change of environment.
“It all works out really well having Warrnambool and Ballarat.
“The facilities out at Matthew Williams’ stables, where I have the majority of my Warrnambool horses, are first class.”
Saturday’s first prize money of $61,750 saw Gotta Take Care’s earnings jump to more than $325,000 from his 43 starts.
Weir had a winning double at Warrnambool when Dashdan won a maiden hurdle over 3200 metres for the 42-year-old trainer.