John O’Shea’s Canterbury Classic winner Barbed is the headline Takeover Target Stakes 2015 nomination taken for Friday’s Gosford Cup Day support race.
The Canny Lad four-year-old is one of the 15 original sprinters nominated for this year’s $100,000 Listed De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m), the entries extended until Tuesday at 11am (local time).
Barbed enjoyed his third career win at start number 15 first-up at Canterbury on December 27 winning the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) in a narrow effort over fellow Takeover Target Stakes hopeful Ball Of Muscle.
Prepared at Warwick Farm by Joe Pride, four-year-old Dubawi gelding Ball Of Muscle was just a neck off the winner that day and gets the chance to turn the tables on Friday.
He boasts an ultra-consistent record of six wins, two seconds and a third from nine starts to date that he’ll be looking to build on in the Takeover Target.
Before the Canterbury Classic the galloper won his previous three starts including over 1000m at Royal Randwick on December 13.
Pride has also nominated for Casual Choice, the Choisir gelding having run fourth to Haussmann last time out.
Along with Barbed the only other last start winner is his stablemate, the aforementioned O’Shea-trained Haussmann.
A five-year-old son of Commands he took out the Schweppes Handicap (1300m) on December 20 at Rosehill enjoying the massive drop from his 59kg allocation to just 50kg thanks to the apprentice claim of James Innes Jnr who rode him to a half-length win over the Chris Waller-trained Champagne Cath.
Along with Ball Of Muscle and Casual Choice meanwhile Pride has also nominated for rising 10-year-old Earnest Ernest, while O’Shea’s third representative is Exceed And Excel mare Miniature who ran two and a bit lengths away fifth in the Canterbury Classic.
The highest-rated sprinter in the mix is then the Con Karakatsanis-trained Howmuchdoyouloveme.
The Written Tycoon six-year-old is second-up here on the back of a dead last when dropping away in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) last month won by the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap-bound Our Boy Malachi.
It’s been a long time between drinks for Group 2 winning Howmuchdoyouloveme who hasn’t won a race since the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm in June, 2013.
Other notable hopes include Medusa’s Miss and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained That’s A Good Idea.
See below for the latest Takeover Target Stakes 2014 nominations, the final field and barriers due for release on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2015 Takeover Target Stakes Nominations
Gosford Racecourse – 09/01/2015
|1||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||93|
|3||CASUAL CHOICE||Joseph Pride||88|
|4||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||93|
|5||EARNEST ERNEST (NZ)||Joseph Pride||80|
|6||FINISHING CARD||Shane Edmonds||–|
|10||MEDUSA’S MISS||Todd Rawiller||72|
|11||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||91|
|14||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||98|
|15||YOUTHFUL KING||Jeremy Sylvester||73|