The Stradbroke Handicap dream is alive for trainer Gary Moore after Takedown won the Gold Coast Guineas.
Takedown, the $2.80 favourite, led most of the way to hold off the fast-finishing Sold For Song ($18) to win by a neck with Always Sacred ($17) 2-1/4 lengths away third.
Moore said Takedown had improved dramatically following a throat operation after an unsuccessful spring carnival campaign.
“He was breathing to about 50 per cent capacity the last time he raced in the spring,” Moore said.
“But the operation he had was successful and he’s a different horse this time in.”
Moore said Takedown would have his next start in the Group Three Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 21.
“The 1350 metres will suit him even better and if he’s able to win that it will make him exempt from a ballot for the Stradbroke which is the race we really want to win,” Moore said.
“When he steps up to the 1350 metres he’ll be able to dominate from the front and he loves to race that way.”
Moore’s father George, one of Australia’s greatest jockeys, won the Stradbroke three times with Aqua Regis, Persian Lyric and Kilshery.