Gary Moore hopes a streamlined Takedown still has the hunger for success as his comeback looms in the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Randwick.
A Group One winner in 2016, the five-year-old endured a tough campaign last spring, failing to run a place in four starts.
A lacerated coronet band was a mitigating factor when he finished last in the campaign-ending Filante Handicap in October, although Moore admitted Takedown’s weight was also an issue.
“He was miles too heavy last prep, that’s why he didn’t perform,” Moore said,
“We’ve been more attentive to his diet this prep and we’re getting down to his winning weight.”
Moore said the completion of a new Pro-Ride training track at Rosehill last month will also help keep Takedown in trim.
Takedown tipped the scales in the 640kg last spring and was down to 635kg heading into Saturday’s 1000-metre sprint against inaugural $10 million Everest winner Redzel.
“I’d like to get him down to 630kg third-up,” Moore said.
“He’s only had one trial to keep him fresh for Saturday and I’m very pleased with him. He looks bright and his work on Tuesday was exceptional.”
“There will be plenty of speed in the race, and he’ll need the run. I just hope he can run a respectable race,” he said.
Moore plans to run Takedown second-up in the Group One Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 24 and then ideally head to the Group One $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 7.
Redzel was the TAB’s $1.55 favourite on Thursday to bounce from Redkirk Warrior ending his six-race winning streak in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 17.
Takedown was a $21 chance.