Takedown’s trainer Gary Moore has set the Group One-winning sprinter a lofty goal to conquer Chautauqua and stake a claim for a slot in the world’s richest race on turf.
Beating the world’s highest rated sprinter in Saturday’s Group Two Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick would certainly enhance Takedown’s bid for a rematch with Chautauqua in the $10 million Everest, but Moore admits it a tough ask.
Only two slots remain in the 12-horse field for The Everest on October 14 and time is running out.
“The obvious thing is he’s got to beat Chautauqua. If he can run in the first three it would a marvellous achievement,” Moore said.
Takedown resumed in The Shorts (1100m) a fortnight ago and finished fifth, two places clear of Chautauqua with the three-time TJ Smith Stakes winner winding up ominously down the straight.
“The way Chautauqua raced in The Shorts first-up you’ll need a pretty good horse to beat him,” Moore said.
He does expect Takedown to be better for that run as he chases back-to-back Premiere Stakes wins.
“He wasn’t quite right in his coat, he wasn’t a hundred per cent fit,” Moore said.
“He’s a lot tighter than what he was in The Shorts. He’s got his firm track and his opportune distance.”
Takedown will be ridden by Tim Clark who also rode him to his Group One win in the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth in November.
The Kris Lees-trained Clearly Innocent ($7.50) is also attempting to lock down an Everest slot with Coolmore and Damion Flower holding the two remaining berths.
“He’s certainly Everest standard in my opinion,” jockey Hugh Bowman said.
“I think his best distance might be a little bit further than 1200, but I think he’ll run very well.”
Moore is also hoping All Too Huiying ($19) can break his maiden in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m).
The colt resumed in a 1200-metre maiden at Newcastle and finished third, his fourth minor placing.
“He deserves a win. He’s Group Two placed and he’s been very consistent,” Moore said.