Horse enthusiast Brendan White saved a spot on his “sports wall of fame” for this exact moment.
The winning post shot of Werribee maiden winner Wegottem Today Son, who backs up at Caulfield on Saturday, will be hung next to signed pictures of Muhammad Ali, Alex Jesaulenko and Rod Laver.
Ever since his father Brian, a 33-year committeeman and past president of Albury Racing Club died in 2013, White waited for the right horse to honour a memorable family catchcry.
When the late Brian, who bred racehorses off the family farm in Albury, owned a winner he would turn to young White and say: “We got them today, son, we got them.”
“I wasn’t quite sure who we got, but I knew we got them,” White said.
“That’s all I needed to know.
“There was no one more excited than my father when he had a horse running.”
White races the Brent Stanley-trained Manhattan Rain gelding, out of the mare Optimizing, which his father owned, with family and close friends.
In three starts, the tenacious two-year-old, who survived lifesaving emergency surgery as a yearling, has recorded a second at Bendigo, a fourth at Ballarat, and the come-from-behind Werribee win.
“I haven’t put a photo on the wall of one of my horses that’s won, as rare as they are, probably for 15 years,” White said.
“This will be the one. It will take pride of place … next to Muhammad Ali, Alex Jesaulenko and Rod Laver, that’ll do.
“He’s going to complete that little wall of fame.”
Brent Stanley trains Wegottem Today Son. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
On Saturday, the unheralded gelding meets a pair of blue bloods in Cheerful Legend and Hunnam, who fetched a combined $1 million at the 2020 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
“He’s fit and healthy, come through the run really well, got an experienced jockey on and we know he won’t give up,” White said.
“He loves to race, I think he’s a genuine chance to hopefully fight out that finish line.”
But White is under no illusions how lucky he is to still have Wegottem Today Son, the family’s first Melbourne runner in about 25 years, after the gelding’s shock medical emergency.
Astute horse breaker Brian Maher raised the alarm last year, having noticed the young gelding suffering from colic-like symptoms.
A snap decision to take the horse to the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital proved a masterstroke, with scans and emergency surgery then revealing a most bizarre diagnosis.
“The horse nearly died,” White said.
“They basically had to open him up … and found out that what he done, (while eating off the ground) he actually ingested asphalt, so he had gravel blocking all his intestines.”
He was nursed back to full health at Blue Gum Farm, limited to box rest basically for six months with heavy bandages around the stomach, before returning to Maher to be broken in.
“I‘ve been breeding horses for a long time,” White said.
“I usually specialise in slow ones, finally we might have one that goes all right.
“I always thought I‘ll keep that one (the name) and save it for the right horse and I thought after what this horse had been through that this might be the right horse.”
Originally published asTouching story behind Wegottem Today Son’s name
Source: Read Full Article