WHEN you have just the one horse in your stable, you need to make the most of it.
There is no question this is exactly what Ballarat veteran trainer Ken Moore has done with Gottino – the new Victorian country racehorse of the year.
The imported New Zealand galloper swept all before last season, winning five country cups.
Gottino was one of three finalists for the title, edging out other Ballarat-trained country cup specialists Pennon (Andrew Payne) and Streets Away (Darren Weir).
“He is a tough horse who loves racing,” said Moore, who races Gottino with his daughter Jacq and her husband Karl.
“He just kept ticking along so we travelled around a bit and picked up a couple of country cups.”
Moore, 81, has been training almost 40 years and has always been happy to have the smallest possible team at his Mt Rowan property.
Moore’s son Shane, who is a bloodstock agent in Melbourne, sourced the well-bred Gottino from Highview Stud.
Jacq Moore said her father had not long retired and being without a horse was looking for something to do.
Gottino is out of group 2-winning broodmare Dopff (eight wins) – making him a half-brother to Octapussy (six wins), which finished second in the group 1 Doomben Cup.
Now a six-year-old, Gottino showed from the outset that he was going to provide Moore with plenty of fun.
He won his first three starts for the stable in February-March 2012 and went on to be twice placed in metropolitan company that campaign.
Gottino’s run of cup triumphs began at Burrumbeet on New Year’s Day this year.
He romped in by more than a length and for the second time for Moore completed a hattrick of wins in the Great Western and Marong Cups, and later on added the Edenhope and Elmore Cups to his list of successes.
Gottino was also placed in the Colac and Apsley Cups.
The stellar season took his lifetime record to 11 wins and six minor placings for $155,462 in earnings.
THE Avoca Cup was named the country racing event of the year after being a finalist for the same award last year.
Avoca Shire Turf Club chief executive officer Kate Kirkpatrick said the recognition of the 2012 Avoca Cup affirmed the success of the club and event as a premier country racing destination.
“The club hosts three event meetings each year and this recognition is testament to the club’s future direction,” she said.
Ballarat’s Darren Weir was acknowledged as the leading country trainer for the ninth season in a row.