CANBERRA sprinter Got The Goss continued his impressive comeback to racing with a thrilling victory in Thursday’s $100,000 Wagga Town Plate (1200m).
Having just his second start in 17 months, Got The Goss ($3.40) sat wide the entire trip but knuckled down over the final 200 metres to claim a frantic finish.
Albury filly Loved Up ($6.00) charged home late to be beaten a nose, while Wagga sprinter Calke Abbey ($31.00) was a further head away in a gallant third.
It was an emotional victory for Got The Goss’ connections with part-owner Wendy Lees passing away last December.
Canberra trainer Trevor McIlrick put Got The Goss’ Town Plate victory at the top of his achievements.
“It’s up the top,” McIlrick said.
“It’s a traditional race and everyone wants to win it so it’s very good.”
The strong Plate victory was also enough to elevate Got The Goss to the best horse McIlrick has trained.
“He’d be the best now,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of horses that have won country Cups and in town and that but to win a race like this with a horse like him after such a long break, it’s a pretty fair effort.”
Got The Goss is owned by Canberra’s Ett Southwell, along with the estate of Lees, and was ridden by Brendan Ward.
It was Ward’s first Town Plate victory.
“That was my first Town Plate winner and he’s a very good horse this,” Ward said.
“He done everything right today.
“I couldn’t get any cover with him, three deep the trip and he’s still come on with it so he’s done a terrific job.
“It was a big win the other day and he backed it up again today, fantastic.”
The horse means a great deal to McIlrick.
“We’ve had him since he was an unraced two-year-old and for a horse to tick a performance together like he has, that’s his seventh win from 10 starts, a lot of horses are lucky to win one, let alone string performances together like him,” he said.
“He means a lot, he’s probably keeping me out of the poor house at present.”
Southwell tried to win the Town Plate many years ago with Rodeo Drive in the 1980s and was thrilled to have finally claimed the feature sprint.
“I shouldn’t be crying but I did this last time,” Southwell said.
“I’m sorry but we’re so excited and unhappy that Wendy’s not here.
“We raced here many years ago and never could win the Town Plate, but always loved to and we’ve got it at last.”
McIlrick will now take the horse home and give him time to recover before he considers a trip to Scone.
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