An all the way win by Takedown in the Group 3 $275,000 Seppelt Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday could tempt connections to pay the late entry fee for the Golden Slipper.
The Gary Moore trained Takedown isn’t among the nominations for the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 and a late entry fee of $150,000 would have to be paid to the Australian Turf Club to gain a start.
Moore’s son Nick was deputising for his father at Canberra on Sunday but couldn’t confirm if the Stratum gelding would be heading to the Golden Slipper.
“Everybody has been asking me if there’s a chance we could pay the late entry for the Slipper but it’s a question I can’t answer,” Moore told Sky Racing World.
“What I do know is that he’s an unbelievable horse because he’s done everything in one preparation, pretty much.”
Takedown went to Canberra on the back of a Hawkesbury maiden win on February 26 and was sent out at the lucrative odds of $9 before leading all of the way for jockey Jay Ford to score by a length in the Black Opal Stakes over Single Gaze ($4.20) with the $2.90 favourite Antelucan finishing third another two and a half lengths away.
Ford said that Takedown has continued to improve all the way through his initial campaign and he wasn’t frightened to take the youngster to the front.
“I didn’t think there was an abundance of speed on paper so I was happy to go to the front on a horse that needs plenty of room,” Ford said.
“He pulled away from them when it counted. He’s also got form around Exosphere, who’s one of the main fancies for the Slipper.”
“I have been given some opportunities from Gary since he’s been back so it’s nice to be part of a big win for the stable.”
“The horse has come a long way since I rode him in a barrier trial a few weeks ago and he got beaten ten lengths.”
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 on February 28 and was elevated to second favourite for the Golden Slipper.