When Gary Moore assessed Takedown’s barrier draw for the International Sprint he could offer two words – delighted and perfect.
The trainer’s confidence has grown since Thursday’s draw with Takedown given barrier six and Australia’s other hope Rebel Dane assigned gate eight for Sunday’s Group One race at Sha Tin.
With the Tony Cruz-trained Peniaphobia starting from the inside alley, Moore sees the race panning out in a repeat of Takedown’s victory in the Group One Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot where he sat outside the lead.
“I think Cruz’s horse will go and make the running and we’ll probably be riding him just like we rode him in Perth,” Moore told AAP.
Moore said Takedown was in fantastic shape ahead of the biggest test of the four-year-old’s career.
“The girl got off him this morning after trackwork and said ‘he’s so fresh’,” Moore said.
“When we saddled him up he wanted to run through the bridle.
“I think he’s in better form than when he was in Perth.”
Known as a gentle giant, the 17-hand Takedown has held his weight from the Winterbottom of 618kg.
“He’s got so many great attributes,” Moore said.
“He’s strong, he’s a good traveller and his weight is holding.
“I’m going to the races very confident.”
While Rebel Dane’s trainer Gary Portelli didn’t get the draw inside five he had hoped for, gate eight is far from a disaster for the Manikato Stakes winner.
“Good speed inside and out so hopefully we get into a good spot close to the rail,” Portelli tweeted.