Stratum Gelding Wins G1 Winterbottom
Gary Moore has always believed Widden Stud bred Stratum gelding Takedown had a Group I win in in him and that expectation eventuated at Ascot on Saturday when the four year-old outgunned classy mare Sheidel to win the $1million Group I WATC Winterbottom Stakes by a long head.
Rosehill-based Moore, a former champion jockey in his own right and son of the legendary hoop George Moore, is renowned for his enthusiastic post-race celebrations and put on a show for the West Australian fans.
“My first Group One in Australia,” Moore told Sky Thoroughbred Central. “It was worth it.
“I knew that he was right there. Body weight, feed intake, coat, and we had a jockey riding better than George Moore.”
The local sprinters were expected to inject an abundance of pace into the race but it didn’t eventuate, Damien Oliver finding the front comfortably aboard the Lindsay Park Racing-trained Sheidel with Tim Clark camping outside him aboard Takedown.
“What a great buzz,” Clark said. “Coming over here and riding a Group One for Gary. We’re going to see some exciting scenes when I get back to scale.
“He’s such a tough honest horse. He gives his all. Olly’s horse travelled a bit better than me, a bit sharper and sprinted and got half a length on me at the top of the straight but I knew my bloke was going to be strong late.
“He really dug in for me and that’s what he does. He’s so honest. What a great thrill.”
Moore, who was the seven-time champion jockey in Hong Kong before claiming seven training titles in Macau, is keen to get Takedown to Sha Tin on December 11 for the Group I Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m).
“We’ve got a good horse coming to Hong Kong and I think if he gets a good draw he’ll win,” Moore said.
Takedown was offered a late invitation for the HK $18.5million contest on Thursday evening when UK sprinter Profitable withdrew.
In earning his sixth stakes win, the imposing son of Stratum advances his record to seven wins and six placings from 20 starts with earnings of $1.4 million.
Takedown was retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson and is the best of three winners for stakes-placed Zafonic mare Apamea (GB).
He is the fifth Group I winner for Widden Stud’s former stalwart Stratum, who sadly died earlier this year.