Barbed and Ball Of Muscle will clash again at Gosford on Friday after both sprinters were included in the 2015 Takeover Target Stakes field.
Ball Of Muscle was given a maiden opportunity at Listed level in the Canterbury Classic (1200m) on December 27, after he recorded three straight victories, and he looked like the winner at the 100 metre mark but was caught in the final stages of the race by Barbed.
The Dubawi gelding will meet Barbed one kilogram better for his defeat in the Canterbury Classic and he will be reunited with Glyn Schofield after the veteran hoop missed the Canterbury Classic due to suspension.
Barbed was having his first race start since he finished fourth behind Deep Field in the Listed City Tatts Club Lightning (1100m) at Royal Randwick on October 18 and the victory was his first win since he took out the 2013 edition of the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) under the care of Peter Snowden.
The Godolphin operation took out the 2014 edition of the Takeover Target Stakes with Emblems and they will have three runners in this year’s race; with Haussmann and Miniature joining Barbed in the Listed event.
Haussman returned to winning form when he defeated Champagne Cath and Murder Of Crows to win the Schweppes Handicap, while Miniature was far from disgraced when fifth behind Barbed and Ball Of Muscle in the Canterbury Classic.
Group 2 winner Howmuchdoyouloveme has been included in the 2015 Takeover Target Stakes field and he will carry the top weight of 59 kilograms.
Howmuchdoyouloveme was sent to the spelling paddock after he suffered an injury during the running of the Group 3 Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 21 and he returned to racing with a slightly disappointing effort in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on December 13, but is sure to have taken plenty of fitness out of the run.
One of the most interesting runners in the Takeover Target Stakes win is veteran sprinter Territory, who is chasing his first win at Listed Level since he took out the 2010 edition of the Doncaster Stakes when under the care of Lee Freedman.
Territory has not been seen at the races since he finished seventh behind Rocket To Glory in the QANTAC Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on October 18, but he showed he was ready for a return to racing with a strong performance in a barrier trial over 733 metres at Royal Randwick on December 30.
The Takeover Target Stakes field is rounded out by That’s A Good Idea (barrier three), Cradle Me (barrier four), Mighty Lucky (barrier nine), Casual Choice (barrier six), Earnest Ernest (barrier seven) and Youthful King (barrier 12).