Trainer Gary Moore has changed focus with Takedown and will set him for a defence of the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.
Once the five-year-old gelding missed selection for a slot in Saturday’s $10 million Everest at Randwick, the Rosehill trainer started mapping out plans for another trip to the Perth summer carnival for the Group One Winterbottom (1200m).
That path continues on the undercard to the Sydney spring carnival’s 1200-metre focal point when Takedown races over the same trip in the Listed Sydney Stakes.
“Naturally we’d like to run in the Everest but it’s great prestige to have a horse good enough to run on the day,” Moore said.
Takedown auditioned for an Everest berth in The Shorts and Premiere Stakes, races he won last year.
But with the competition tougher 12 months on, he ran fifth and fourth respectively en route to the $500,000 Lightning Stakes.
“It’s still a lot of prize money and he’s going to peak third-up,” Moore said.
“Physically he’s got more muscle mass. He looks fit and he’s ready to go.
Takedown recovered well from the Premiere Stakes on September 30, and providing he emerges unscathed from Saturday’s assignment he will head to Moonee Valley for the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 27.
Moore took Takedown to Sha Tin for the Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) after he won the Winterbottom but new quarantine requirements would make that difficult this year.
Moore also has Classic Uniform looking for back-to-back wins after his success in the Group Two Hill Stakes (1800m) last month.
He lines up in the Group Three Craven Plate (2000m) and Moore admitts it will be difficult to notch consecutive victories given Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper is among the nominations.
“It’s going to be a very tough race. There’s a lot more depth in it than the Hill Stakes,” he said.