Gotta Get Back will be chasing a unique slice of history when he returns from injury in Saturday night’s heats of the Group 2 CKH Painting Shepparton Cup.
Back in February Gotta Get Back was an upset all-the-way winner of the Shepparton Cup and with a change in dates seeing the race conducted twice in 2016 he’ll get the very rare opportunity to go back-to-back in the same calendar year.
WATCH: Gotta Get Back’s Shepparton Cup victory from early this year.
Gotta Get Back is trained by John McClelland in Jindera in NSW, which is located just north of Albury, however the son of two-time Shepparton Cup placegetter Vee Man Vane enjoys home track advantage of sorts at Shepparton, boasting 10 wins from 13 starts over 450m and 390m at the venue.
While Gotta Get Back also finished second in the Bendigo Cup in July, injury issues have restricted him to only ten starts since landing the Shepparton Cup and he comes into his Cup defence underdone, not having been seen in action since August 5.
“He’s had a few problems,” John McClelland explained.
“After he won the Shepparton Cup I went to the Bendigo Cup and he ran second but then a couple of starts later he injured a triangle muscle and I’ve had my work cut out getting him back for the Shepp Cup.
GOTTA GET BACK LEADING THE SHEPPARTON CUP EARLY THIS YEAR.
GOTTA BET BACK CROSSING THE LINE AFTER THE SHEPPARTON CUP.
“Shepp has always been the aim but it’s been a race against time. He’s been trialling well but he hasn’t raced for six or seven weeks so he’s not race hard and race fit and you need to be 110 per cent in these races. But you can’t win sitting at home in your kennel.”
Gotta Get Back has drawn box four in the last of five Shepparton Cup heats, having also worn the blue vest when giving McClelland his greatest victory in more than half a century as a trainer earlier in the year.
“I don’t think the box draw will matter too much. I just hope they all go nice and straight to the first corner,” McClelland said.
“There is a bit of pace on his inside with the red (Zoltina’s Legacy) and Jack Walker (box 3).
“I’d only say he’s a rough chance. If he gets through to the final he’ll be better next week but it will depend on what else gets through. They’ve only got five heats but gee there’s some depth in there with dogs like Zambora Brockie (heat 4, box 2).
“It would be very nice if he could win the Cup again and with all the problems we’ve got in NSW it might be my last chance.”
FINISHING POST AND CROWD AFTER THE SHEPPARTON CUP.