2015 Takeover Target Stakes Main Goal for Territory

January 7th, 2015

While the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) running at Gosford Racecourse this Friday remains the main goal for Territory, trainer Jarrod Austin isn’t taking any chances.

Territory will run in the Takeover Target Stakes bar a bad barrier draw.

Territory will run in the Takeover Target Stakes bar a bad barrier draw. Photo by Steve Hart.

Austin will accept for both the Takeover Target Stakes and a Benchmark 90 Handicap over 1000m at Royal Randwick the following day in case of a bad barrier draw.

“The main goal is to go to Gosford and the other race is just a back up in case he draws terribly at Gosford,” Austin told Sky Racing.

Territory is one of 15 horses nominated for the 2015 Takeover Target Stakes, where he will carry 56kg, and one of 11 nominated for the Randwick race, where he’ll have to carry the hefty 62.5kg top weight should he run.

Austin is adamant the Gosford race is the preferred first-up race for the seven-year-old gelding but would have to reconsider if drawn wide.

Either way, Territory will resume this week following an 11-week let-up. After winning a Benchmark 90 over 1200m at Rosehill Gardens on August 16, the gelding failed to place in either of his next two starts. He finished seventh in both the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) and the Qantac Pty Ltd Handicap (1200m).

However after sprinting round the bend to win from last in a 733m barrier trial on December 30, Austin is confident he can return to the winner’s circle during this week’s action.

“We’re really happy with him. He trialled well the other day and showed his normal, good turn of foot,” Austin said.

“And his work was really good the other day so he’s come back in good order.”

Acceptances for this weekend’s Gosford races will be taken on Wednesday.

Open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account to receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet. Just quote code: BETBONUS.