Tak­ing one step for­ward

The Sportsman Weekend - - Friday Night Races - By RAY HICK­SON

He’s come on, he worked bril­liantly on the course proper on Mon­day in fast time but thirdup will be his race. – Gary Moore

TRAINER Gary Moore is ex­pect­ing Take­down to be back to his com­pet­i­tive self at Ea­gle Farm to­mor­row but warns the Group 1 winning sprinter is ‘ one run away’ from his best. Take­down put in a rare fail­ure when he re­sumed at Rand­wick two weeks ago but Moore said there were gen­uine ex­cuses at his first run since an ar­du­ous Hong Kong trip. “I for­gave him for it,” Moore said. “He hadn’t run for four months, he had 60kg and looked a bit rough in the coat. “Don’t for­get he did four weeks of quar­an­tine and three at Wid­den so he lost a lot of mus­cle mass.” Moore said he’d like to see the fouryear-old fea­ture some­where in the fin­ish of the Group 2 $200,000 El­lyce Galvin Vic­tory Stakes (1200m).

The trainer is adamant he doesn’t have to win to prove he’s back on track but with just six ri­vals the race is shap­ing as cam­paign defin­ing.

“He’s come on, he worked bril­liantly on the course proper Mon­day in fast time but third-up will be his race,” Moore said.

“I’ve seen im­prove­ment in his coat, body weight and in his train­ing. He never let down at all the other day be­hind Redzel, he just couldn’t get a foot hold.

“I’d be happy to be in the first three, it’d be a great ef­fort by the horse.”

Take­down has two ma­jor tar­gets in Brisbane, the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (now run at 1200m) and Kings­ford Smith Stakes (exBTC Cup 1300m).

Last year’s 10,000 win­ner Mu­sic Mag­nate is Take­down’s chief ri­val to­mor­row while ex­cit­ing mare Tum­bler adds a new di­men­sion at her weight-for-age de­but.

Moore has ruled out a sec­ond at­tempt at the Strad­broke in June as he hopes Take­down’s per­for­mances Brisbane will at­tract in­ter­est for a slot owner in the $10m The Ever­est to be run at Rand­wick October.

Jockey Tim Clark went to Rose­hill on Mon­day to work Take­down and echoed Moore’s thoughts about where the geld­ing stands in his prepa­ra­tion.

“He’s a lot bet­ter the coat and he will im­prove but I think im­prove again af­ter this run,” Clark said.

“He’s still maybe a run off.”

Take­down worked over 1000m on Mon­day, part­nered with sta­ble­mate Ab­so­lutely Win, in 1:01.21 and Clark said it was handy work.

Like Moore, he’s pre­pared to over­look the eighth of nine i n

Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) on a very heavy track.

“He was bit soft on a heavy track and up against horses that had raced through the car­ni­val and were hard and fit,” he said.

“You can for­give one bad run but I want to see good im­prove­ment come Satur­day.”

Trainer Gary Moore with Take­down

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