Ball Of Muscle taken a major step out of the shadow of his Group One-winning siblings to break a track record that has stood for almost two decades in claiming the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford.
In the best imaginable finish to Sydney’s summer sprint series on Friday, Ball Of Muscle rallied in the manner widely associated with his brother Tiger Tees and half brother Terravista to win the Listed sprint.
At the end of a ferociously run race, Ball Of Muscle, the $2 favourite, had a half head to spare over former stablemate That’s A Good Idea ($13).
And the four-year-old also had the Gosford 1200m record in his keeping as he stopped the clock at 1min08.96secs, a time just inside the previous mark which had stood since 1997.
“I think 1997 was my first year in racing so that’s how long that record has been around for,” Pride said.
Ball Of Muscle was ridden by Glyn Schofield who made it back-to-back feature wins at the meeting after taking out the Belle Of The Turf Stakes on Mamwaazel.
Schofield had Ball Of Muscle in the early firing line before he eased to take a breather in the middle stages when That’s A Good Idea whipped around the field to put more leader Barbed.
That’s A Good Idea took over in the straight but Ball Of Muscle was ready to strike with Territory ($18) launched widest in the straight.
It wasn’t until the last stride that Ball Of Muscle put his head in front with Schofield paying tribute to the runner-up.
“On the turn I thought I was going to win easily but I know That’s A Good Idea pretty well and I knew he would go with me,” Schofield said.
It was Ball Of Muscle’s seventh win in 10 starts and Pride will spell the sprinter with every intention of trying to win an even bigger race with the gelding.
“Twelve hundred metres is about as far as he wants and I think the best race this horse will ever win will be over eleven hundred or one thousand metres,” Pride said.
“I really think that’s where his real power will lie because he is so strong.”