By Ray Hickson
Gary Moore is confident the spring is back in the step of his Group 1 winning sprinter Takedown and has urged the remaining slot holders for The Everest to seriously consider locking him in.
Takedown wasn’t himself in the autumn and Moore attributes his form slump to the effects of his trip to Hong Kong.
‘’When you think about it he spent two weeks in quarantine in Hong Kong, two weeks quarantine in Melbourne then he went to Widden and stood around in the paddock,’’ Moore said.
‘’He lost a lot of muscle and didn’t come back last preparation much like what happened with Chautauqua last year.
‘’After Hong Kong he was very sour, he wasn’t a happy horse, and he’s not showing that this time around.’’
Takedown won his first trial this preparation on August 18 and he’ll return to Randwick next Thursday for a second hit out.
Moore has the Group 3 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16 earmarked for Takedown’s return then the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) two weeks later – the two major lead up races for the $10m The Everest on October 14.
The five-year-old won both races last spring and trained on to win a Group 1 in the west.
‘’He’s worth taking on the way he’s going,’’ Moore said.
‘’I think he will trial well again on Thursday, he’s a Group 1 winner and has beaten English before so if he’s lucky enough to get into the Everest he’s going to be in there with a chance.’’
So far Chautauqua, She Will Reign (both trialling at Warwick Farm on Friday), English, Houtzen and Fell Swoop are confirmed Everest runners and David Hayes has been given a choice of runner by slot holder The Star.
Moore said Takedown has come back from his winter break ‘’a ball of muscle’’ and would be surprised if he doesn’t return to his best.
‘’He’s had a perfect preparation and he’s in a different frame of mind,’’ he said.