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River Lad To Debut For Lees In Takeover Target Stakes

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Group 1 winner River Lad has been included in the 2016 Takeover Target Stakes field and he is set to make his debut for new trainer Kris Lees.

River Lad has the chance to return to winning form in the 2016 Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford tomorrow. Photo by: Daniel Costello

River Lad has the chance to return to winning form in the 2016 Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford tomorrow. Photo by: Daniel Costello

River Lad recorded the biggest win of his racing career to date when he took out the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), but he was unable to replicate that form during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he has not been seen at the races since he failed to beat home a runner in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25.

Lees acquired River Lad towards the end of 2015 and the Top Echelon gelding showed that he was ready to return to racing when he finished a close second behind Senta De Noche in a barrier trial at Gosford on December 15.

The 2016 Takeover Target Stakes field was released yesterday and River Lad is set to take on a strong field in his return to racing.

Rule The River has not put a foot wrong since she returned to the races and he has done enough to convince trainer Anthony Cummings that she is worthy of a maiden opportunity at Listed level in the Takeover Target Stakes.

The Commands mare started her summer campaign with an impressive victory in the De Bortoli Wines Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury on November 7 and she took out both the Tab.com.au Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm on November 25 and the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on December 12 before she defeated a quality field to win the ATC Farewells A Thomas Handicap (1000m) at the same venue on Boxing Day.

I’ve Got The Looks is set to start the 2016 Takeover Target Stakes as a narrow favourite after she returned to the races with a strong third behind Cradle Me and Dances On Stars in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day.

The Choisir mare is chasing her first race win since she took out the Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on May 9 and her third victory at Listed level.

I’ve Got The Looks is currently available at 2016 Takeover Target Stakes odds of $3.10 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Rule The River ($3.20), Meursault ($9), Decision Time ($11), River Lad ($13), Territory ($16), Mahican ($16), Howmuchdoyouloveme ($18), Hidden Warrior ($21), Slots ($21) and Mount Nebo ($26).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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