Takeover Target Stakes Winner after Third Straight

Darren Smith’s Takeover Target Stakes winner from last Thursday Testarhythm will vie for a hat-trick of consecutive wins on Saturday when they back up in a benchmark 95 handicap at Rosehill Gardens.

The Testa Rossa five-year-old broke a one and a half year winning drought at Canterbury back on December 29 with a tight win in a benchmark 85 before being stepped up to stakes company next start.

Going out as an $11 chance in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford Testarhythm enjoyed another kill this time racing off to hit the line one and a half lengths ahead of the Peter Snowden-trained Soledad.

They go back in class slightly on the weekend but will still face plenty of talented gallopers if the nominations are anything to go by with the likes of the ultra-consistent Single, Michael Tubman’s recent Warwick Farm winner Merlin Mustang, the Kris Lees-trained veteran 10-year-old Motspur who ran a close fourth first-up to No Looking Back in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1100m) on New Year’s Day, and the Chris Waller-trained duo of Thumbtacks and Tromso among the other early entries.

Saturday’s race will be Testarhythm’s chance to prove themselves as a middle-distance sprinter racing over the 1400m for the first time since July of 2011.

They have had two runs over 1400m and one over 1500m and while unsuccessful there a 1350m win at Rosehill in the winter of 2011 could mean Smith’s predictions are right.

“I’ve always believed he would run 1400m but every time I’ve run him over 1400m he’s been at the back end of a preparation,” Smith explained.

“The horse is going very well at the moment.

“He is in fine form and the way he went in the Takeover Target if he draws the right barrier there is no reason why he can’t make it three-in-a-row.”

If they continue to race well and come through their runs without issue then there’s also a chance Smith will keep Testarhythm going into the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2013.

“We’re not aiming to say we’ve got the big Group horse, we’re probably more so aiming to have the fit lesser grade horse,” Smith said.

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