Today at Gosford Racecourse three black-type features will headline a bumper summer meet including the 2015 Takeover Target Stakes – betting for which is headlined by Ball Of Muscle.
Drawn well in barrier five in the 12-horse field for this year’s $100,000 Listed De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m), the Joe Pride-trained Dubawi gelding Ball Of Muscle pays $2.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au to improve on a last start second.
That was in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) on December 27 where the four-year-old carried 54kg and was nabbed late by Barbed on the back of a Randwick win over 1000m.
He now shoots for his second win from as many starts at the Gosford track and is well liked to add to his commanding record of six wins, two seconds and a third from nine starts to date.
Following Ball Of Muscle in the Takeover Target Stakes betting markets are then just two other single-figure hopes with the favourite’s last start conqueror Barbed ($4.40) and Miniature ($8.50) who Ball Of Muscle beat home by one on December 13.
John O’Shea’s Canny Lad four-year-old Barbed won his third career victory in the Canterbury Classic after coming from behind Ball Of Muscle when the leader kicked late to win by a neck.
He had 54kg, the same as the runner-up, but rises a kilo to 55kg today with Blake Shinn taking over for Jim Cassidy.
Ball Of Muscle however stays on the minimum weight and has a better draw in the sprint showdown than Barbed who is out wide in gate 11.
Miniature meanwhile is also drawn wide, O’Shea’s other runner to jump from one inside his stablemate in gate 10 with Sam Clipperton in the saddle.
The Exceed And Excel mare is three runs into her summer campaign after running second to Ball Of Muscle first-up before her fifth in the Canterbury Classic when beaten just over two lengths.
Outside the top three in Takeover Target Stakes odds are then a two $10 chances with That’s A Good Idea carrying 56.5kg from barrier three with Hugh Bowman aboard and Cradle Me drawn one wider for jockey Christian Reith in gate four.
Prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden, Flying Spur five-year-old That’s A Good Idea drops half a kilo from the weight he had for a disappointing eighth in the Canterbury Classic, the gelding after his fourth win from 11 starts over 1200m today.
Cradle Me has won just the one time over the distance from 11 attempts, David Pfieffer’s six-year-old Easy Rocking mare having finished one better when seventh in the Canterbury Classic following a third behind 2015 Stradbroke Handicap hopeful Our Boy Malachi in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) at Randwick a fortnight earlier.
Other notable Takeover Target Stakes hopes at better odds then include O’Shea’s rails-drawn Haussmann ($13) coming off a win at Rosehill over 1300m on December 20, stablemate to the favourite Casual Choice ($13) and the resuming Territory ($16).
See below for the full Takeover Target Stakes 2015 betting odds, open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where by quoting the code BETBONUS when making your first deposit it will be matched 100% up to $250 as a bonus bet!