Joe Pride’s speedy galloper Ball Of Muscle posted a blitzing Takeover Target Stakes 2015 victory at Gosford Racecourse on Friday winning in a new track record time.
Coming off a second in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) from December 27 the lightly-raced Dubawi four-year-old jumped even-money $2 favourite in the $100,000 Listed De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) on Gosford Cup Day.
Away well from barrier five with Glyn Schofield aboard the horse stormed home for his maiden black-type victory in a very fast 1:08.96 that set a new Gosford record for the 1200m, the previous record standing since Our Replica won in 0.17 seconds slower back in 1997, adding to the youngster’s excellent record of seven wins from 10 starts.
“I think that (1997) was my first year in racing and that’s a helluva long time ago,” Pride said after Friday’s success.
“I remember him (Our Replica), he wasn’t a bad horse.”
It was an impressive but narrow win with Ball Of Muscle having just a half-head to spare on the line over the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained runner-up That’s A Good Idea ($13) who improved notable on his Canterbury Classic eighth in a thrilling showdown.
“That was a ballistic pace in that race,” Pride added.
“They were already going quick enough and Hughie [Bowman] has come up on That’s A Good Idea and went even quicker.”
Finishing off the Takeover Target Stakes trifecta in third only a half-length off the winner was then Jarrod Austin’s veteran Lonhro seven-year-old Territory ($18) running first-up off a two month break.
“I knew That’s A Good Idea would be a hard horse to get past but all credit to Ball Of Muscle,” Schofield, who was fined $200 for weighing in over at 56.1kg instead of 55kg (55.9kg being the acceptable allowance), told TVN post-win.
“I cornered and got up to [That’s A Good Idea] and I thought, ‘I’m going to beat him easy’.
“But the last 50 [metres] I was on empty. The 1200 just sees him out. He doesn’t have a lot of depth at that distance.”
After winning six of his opening eight starts Ball Of Muscle, described by Schofield on Friday as a “high class horse”, was beaten in his ninth run before bouncing back in his 10th yesterday following an eerie tradition from his bloodline.
That sequence is the exact same as his fellow Pride-trained brothers Tiger Tees (full) and the world’s current highest-rated sprinter Terravista (half), two excellent Group 1 winners that Ball Of Muscle will be out to reach the same heights of.
“There was a lot on the line and I didn’t pay attention to it last start, and we shouldn’t have backed him, should we?” Pride joked.
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2015 Takeover Target Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Gosford Race 5 (5:25pm) – 09/01/2015
|1||5||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||–||5||54kg||$2F|
|2||2||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||0.1L||3||56.5kg||$13|
|3||3||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Tye Angland||0.5L||8||56kg||$18|
|4||9||CASUAL CHOICE||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||1.4L||6||54kg||$15|
|5||6||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||Christian Reith||1.5L||4||54kg||$8.50|
|6||8||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||Nathan Thomas||1.6L||9||54kg||$81|
|7||10||MINIATURE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||2.2L||10||54kg||$14|
|8||4||BARBED||John O’Shea||Blake Shinn||2.5L||11||55kg||$6.50|
|8||11||EARNEST ERNEST (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Kerrin McEvoy||2.5L||7||54kg||$81|
|10||1||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Con Karakatsanis||Brenton Avdulla||4.7L||2||59kg||$41|
|11||7||HAUSSMANN||John O’Shea||Tommy Berry||4.8L||1||54kg||$13|
|12||12||YOUTHFUL KING||Jeremy Sylvester||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.6L||12||54kg||$201|