Sydney trainer Gary Moore will now prepare Takedown for a trip to Hong Kong after the gelding scored a decisive win in the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth last Saturday.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club had invited Takedown to compete in the Group 1 HK$18.5m Longines Hong Kong Sprint 1200m at Sha Tin on December 11 last week before he scored his initial Group 1 win on the weekend.
Takedown’s best winning efforts when Moore received the invitation were two Group 2 wins at the beginning of the 2016 Spring Carnioval with wins in the Group 2 $200,000 The Bowermans Office Furniture The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 17 and in the Group 2 $300,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 1.
Moore was very excited that Takedown could justify the HKJC’s faith in his horse and he will now organise to have the Stratum four year old back in Sydney for a few days before heading off for the International race meeting in Hong Kong.
’I’m not only feeling so happy for the horse, who really deserves this win, but also for the Hong Kong Jockey Club as they invited him over as a group 2 winner and now we’re going there a group 1 winner,” Moore told racing.com.
‘’He’ll fly from Perth to Melbourne tomorrow night and then I’d like to get him home to Sydney for a couple of days just to keep an eye on him before he flies out to Hong Kong.’’
‘’I’m going with plenty of confidence. I’m pretty sure I can beat the local sprinters and if we get a good draw, I think he can win.’’
“The horse has taken no effect from Saturday’s win. He ate all his feed and his limbs are free and clean.’’
Moore repeated his racetrack celebrations that he produced in Sydney after Takedown won The Shorts and The Premiere Stakes and ran onto the Ascot course proper skipping and dancing to collect his first Group 1 winners as a trainer and lead him back to the winner’s circle.
’I’ve won some great races throughout the world but to win my first group 1 in Australia with this great horse, I’m just over the moon,’’ Moore said.
Takedown was sent out at the good odds at $9 in the Winterbottom Stakes and after racing at the leader Sheidel’s ($8.50) girth, proved to be too strong under the hard riding of Tim Clark to claim a clear cut win over the mare with local sprinter Rock Magic ($13) a half a length back in third sport.
The $3.50 favourite Terravista settled just off the pace for Hugh Bowman but faded in the straight to finish tenth, eight and a quarter lengths behind Takedown.
The Winterbottom Stakes was Takedown’s seventh win from thirteen starts and took his prizemoney earnings to $1,455,000.
Takedown is now marked as a $9 chance for the Hong Kong Sprint while fellow Australian Sprint Rebel Dane is listed at $19.
Early market order for the Hong Kong Sprint at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Big Arthur, Lucky Bubbles, Red Falx, $8.50 Aerovelocity, $9 Not Listenin’tome, Takedown, $11 Amazing Kids, $16 Pure Sensation, $19 Peniaphobia, Rebel Dane, $21 Profitable, Signs Of Blessing, $41 Strathmore, $51 Growl, Super Jockey.