For a horse no one thought would amount to much, Takedown has been a revelation.
Widden Stud’s Antony Thompson and Rob and Deb Anderson bred and own Takedown, but he was never expected to be a three-time Group Three winner and collect more than $500,000 in stakes by the end of his three-year-old season.
“It’s been a revelation,” trainer Gary Moore said.
“Especially when he came to us and didn’t go through a sale.
“Antony Thompson didn’t think he’d get to the heights he has because he is a very laid back animal so it’s been a great accomplishment by the horse.”
Moore says Takedown is fitter than his last first-up effort when speedster Redzel beat him by a neck in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick in March.
“Admittedly this is a lot more competitive on Saturday but I’m just hoping for what he shows me what I saw in the two trials and if he does he’ll be competitive,” Moore said.
Takedown coasted home to win a 900m trial at Rosehill on Monday one week after finishing second to All Aged Stakes winner English in a 1045m heat at Randwick.
Moore plans to have the horse peaking third-up in the Moonga with the option of pressing on to the Group Three Chatham Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Oaks Day.
“I’ve always thought 1400 metres was his opportune distance,” Moore said.
“He’s a free-running horse that likes to jump and run.
“He battles, he’s got a very big heart and he tries hard.
“I don’t think he’s quite up to Group One level but he’s capable of winning a Group Two or Three this preparation.”
Country Championship winner Clearly Innocent resumes in The Shorts and is also heading for the Moonga third-up.
Takedown is at $15 with Group One winner English the $2.60 favourite.
Country Championship winner Clearly Innocent is the second pick at $4.60.