12 sprinters have accepted for the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford Racecourse this Friday, one of three black-type races making up the day’s meeting.
Con Karakatsanis’ Howmuchdoyouloveme is the headliner of the field, set to carry the sole top weight of 59kg – up to five kilograms more than his rivals – but has been given an advantage in the race after drawing barrier two with Brenton Avdulla to ride.
The six-year-old gelding found his share of success during the Brisbane Winter Carnival in 2013, winning both the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) and Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m), however he was unable to retain his crown in either race the following year.
After nearly half a year in the spelling paddock, Howmuchdoyouloveme returned to racing on December 13 in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m). He jumped well and found the front before controlling a slow tempo and leading by half a length. However he was quickly overtaken at the 200m mark and dropped away to finish last of the six runners.
Trainers John O’Shea and Joseph Pride continue to dominate the 2015 Takeover Target Stakes field after accepting with all three of their nominated horses apiece.
O’Shea has scored the inside start from barrier one with Haussmann but also drew two of the widest starts for Barbed (11) and Miniature (10).
Haussman has finished end of the field in two of his four starts this campaign – the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) and Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) – but won the Schweppes Handicap (1300m) last time out at Rosehill Gardens by half a length.
The five-year-old gelding will partner with champion hoop Tommy Berry for the first time on Friday.
After just missing out on a placing in the Listed Tattersalls Club Lightning (1100m) in October, Barbed was sent on a 10-week let-up before winning the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) on December 27.
Miniature finished fifth behind his stablemate in the Canterbury Classic after claiming second place in the Tab Rewards Plate (1000m) a fortnight earlier.
Pride’s three runners will all start next to each other after drawing gates 5 (Ball Of Muscle), 6 (Casual Choice), and 7 (Earnest Ernest).
Four-year-old gelding Ball Of Muscle appears to be the trainer’s best chance at winning the Takeover Target Stakes after finishing just a head behind Barbed in the Canterbury Classic last time out.
Check out the full list of runners below before the market goes live at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Make your first bet with the online bookmaker to receive up to $250 in a bonus match. Just use exclusive code: BETBONUS.
2015 Takeover Target Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x2056x79x6||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Con Karakatsanis||Brenton Avdulla||2||59kg||103|
|2||43394×1278||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||3||56.5kg||98|
|3||1x5734177x||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Tye Angland||8||56kg||97|
|4||73389x34x1||BARBED||John O’Shea||Blake Shinn||11||55kg||95|
|5||1x1131x112||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||5||54kg||93|
|6||1221×25937||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||Christian Reith||4||54kg||93|
|7||21325×0671||HAUSSMANN||John O’Shea||Tommy Berry||1||54kg||93|
|8||x21668283x||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||Nathan Thomas||9||54kg||91|
|9||64124×0534||CASUAL CHOICE||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||6||54kg||88|
|10||121x362x25||MINIATURE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||10||54kg||85|
|11||42034384×5||EARNEST ERNEST (NZ)||Joseph Pride||TBA||7||54kg||80|
|12||08192159×8||YOUTHFUL KING||Jeremy Sylvester||TBA||12||54kg||73|