Rosehill trainer Gary Moore will head to Canberra on Sunday with his two year old Takedown to contest the Group 3 $275,000 Seppelt Black Opal Stakes (1200m).
Last start Hawkesbury winner Takedown has drawn barrier six in the field of thirteen youngsters with Jay Ford to take the reins.
Moore said that the Stratum gelding will be very competitive on Sunday after working well on Thursday morning.
“He worked fantastic this morning,” Moore told Racenet.
“He worked home in 37.5 seconds for the final 600-metres on the bit.
“He’s an exciting horse, light on his feet and the form-lines around him appear very strong.”
“We’ve drawn well, he’s a fit horse, looks great. Without having done too much form yet I would have to say he’s an each-way chance.”
Moore took Takedown to Kembla Grange on February 14 for his first race start and finished third behind the John O’Shea trained pair of Exosphere and Mogador in a 1000m Maiden.
Exosphere came out at his next start and blew away the field in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday and was elevated to second favourite for the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21.
“It’s hard to believe that you go to Kembla and strike a horse like that (Exosphere), but that’s the way it goes,” Moore said.
Moore then ventured to Hawkesbury where Takedown was successful in winning an 1100m Maiden on February 26.
The former Macau trainer is one of several high profile Sydney trainers venturing to the national’s capital on Sunday.
O’Shea will saddle up two runners, Chamarela and Antelucan, Gai Waterhouse has Clash Of Clans in the field, Clarry Connors will be there with Dorf Star while Team Hawkes has accepted with Surf Seeker.
As usual O’Shea’s Godolphin youngsters are bred in the purple with Chamarel being a colt by Exceed And Excel out of the More Than Ready mare Colour while Antelucan is a filly by Domesday out of the Fantastic Light mare Dawn Attack.
Antelucan has won an 800m Watwick Farm barrier trial since finishing at the tail of the field when fourteenth to Fontiton in the Group 2 $200,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (F) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.
The filly had previous won the Group 3 $150,000 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 4 and will be ridden by the in-form jockey James McDonald.
Sydney’s leading jockey Hugh Bowman will be aboard Chamarel while Kerrin McEvoy will be riding Clash Of Clans for Waterhouse.
Local filly Single Gaze is having her first start since running third to Le Chef in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 10 and is a great chance for a home town victory.
Kathy O’Hara is back on the Nick Oliver trained filly after Damien Oliver rode her at the Gold Coast.
Antelucan heads the market order for the Black Opal Stakes at $3 just ahead of Single Gaze at $4.20 and Surf Seeker and Chamarel at $7.
Takedown has come in for some early support and has firmed in from $11 to be currently marked at $8, with Clash Of Clans next in the betting at $9.