GARY Moore confirmed star-on-the-rise Takedown is set to battle it out against the best sprinters in the world in Hong Kong after taking out the $1 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
The Moore trained four-year-old squared off against Sheidel ($2.10 to place at Crownbet.com.au) at the 400m mark and the pair embarked on a hard fought battle as the post loomed.
Takedown reached the front in the shadows of the post to record his maiden Group 1 win.
Rock Magic finished third, just in front of a blanket of horses to return $3.10 for the place at Crownbet.com.au.
Trainer Gary Moore rubber stamped the sprinter’s inclusion in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint in the aftermath of the win.
“We’ve got a good horse [Takedown] coming to Hong Kong,” Moore said.
“If he gets a good draw he’ll win.”
The victory was Takedown’s second big race win in Australia after taking out the Group 3 Black Opal at Canberra back in 2015.
The son of former champion jockey George, Gary Moore gave jockey Tim Clarke high praise before confirming his horse will travel to Hong Kong to compete in the Hong Kong Sprint.
“We have a jockey [Tim Clark] who’s riding better than George Moore,” the trainer joked in the aftermath of his maiden Group 1 win in Australia.
“Dad would be very proud, like everybody in Hong Kong.”
Jockey Tim Clark rode his third winner of the day aboard Takedown and the prolific winner said he was confident the race was over once the horse hit the front in the shadows of the post.
“[Damien Oliver’s] horse probably travelled a bit stronger in the straight and probably kicked and got a bit of a margin on me, but I knew my bud was always going to be strong late,” Clark said.
“He really started to work into that margin at the furlong … [but] once I got to the front I knew they wouldn’t get past him.”
Takedown will be facing a turnaround of just over two weeks before the Hong Kong Sprint on December 11, but Clark said the freshly crowned Group 1 winner is capable of repeating the dose.
“Hopefully he comes through today and we can head to Hong Kong with some confidence.”