Anthony Cummings’ four-year-old mare Rule The River is the form horse heading into the Takeover Target Stakes 2016 on Gosford Cup Day this Friday.
Due to jump as Gosford Race 5 at 5:52pm (AEST) on Friday afternoon, this year’s $100,000 Listed De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) has attracted a final field of 11 sprinters.
Coming off four straight wins this time in is the nicely-drawn Rule The River, the Commands mare jumping from gate three with Jason Collett in the saddle.
Collett is back in the saddle after Adam Hyeronimus had the mount for her 1000m win at Randwick on December 26, Rule The River up in distance but dropping from 56.5kg that day to the 54kg minimum in the Takeover Target.
She has had one run for one run at Gosford previously back in December of 2014 and has finished in the top two in both her previous 1200m runs.
Takeover Target Stakes weights this summer are led by the Kris Lees-trained River Lad who carries 61.5kg and is drawn one outside of Rule The River in barrier four.
Brenton Avdulla rides the returning Top Echelon eight-year-old who hasn’t raced since his last behind Srikandi in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast last April.
Winner of the 2014 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane, River Lad has been plagued by injuries but proved his fitness with a nice Gosford trial on December 15 running second over 1000m.
Also first-up in Friday’s sprint clash is the John O’Shea-trained Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old Meursault who hasn’t raced since his fifth in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) in April last year.
He too had a December 15 trial when third to Strawberry Boy over 1050m at Randwick and gets into the Takeover Target Stakes on the 54kg minimum with Sam Clipperton in the saddle from gate seven.
Following River Lad in the Takeover Target Stakes weights are three horses allocated 55.5kg including the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained I’ve Got The Looks who is set to get a gun run from barrier two.
Tommy Berry rides the Choisir mare second-up, the six-year-old having run third to this Saturday’s Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap hopeful Cradle Me in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) on December 26.
Winner of back-to-back black-types in Queensland last autumn, I’ve Got The Looks comes out of the same lead-up that produced last year’s Takeover Target Stakes winner Ball Of Muscle (2015) who ran second in the Canterbury Classic before his narrow win at Gosford.
The other 55.5kg hopes are Decision Time and Homuchdoyouloveme drawn in barriers one and nine respectively.
Clarry Conners prepares veteran Foreplay eight-year-old Decision Time who had the same weight on his back for a fifth, beaten two and a half lengths, in the Canterbury Classic last time out.
A four-time winner over Friday’s distance, the galloper shoots for his first win since the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick as a 26/1 outsider back in August last year.
Howmuchdoyouloveme also comes out of the Canterbury Classic but finished a well beaten ninth third-up after a third in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) the run before at Rosehill.
See below for the full Takeover Target Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2016 Takeover Target Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Gosford Race 5 (5:52pm) – 08/01/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||711x400x0x||RIVER LAD||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||4||61.5kg||108|
|2||550x1180x3||I’VE GOT THE LOOKS||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||2||55.5kg||100|
|3||90664169×5||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||James McDonald||1||55.5kg||96|
|4||295829×139||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Con Karakatsanis||Ms Samantha Clenton (a)||9||55.5kg||96|
|5||30x76808x0||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Kerrin McEvoy||5||54kg||90|
|6||067x350x06||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke||Grant Buckley||8||54kg||89|
|7||95×3831219||SLOTS||Grant Marshall||Lester Grace (a)||6||54kg||89|
|8||3x114486x9||MOUNT NEBO||Allan Denham||Glyn Schofield||10||54kg||86|
|9||5x12x1111||RULE THE RIVER||Anthony Cummings||Jason Collett||3||54kg||86|
|10||x522168x20||MAHICAN||Gerald Ryan||Ms Kathy O’Hara||11||54kg||81|
|11||1x6x23165x||MEURSAULT||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||7||54kg||77|