Gary Moore skipped and danced along the course proper to collect “gentle giant” Takedown after his four-year-old took out the $1 million Group I Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Gary Moore’s enthusiastic antics reached new heights after claiming his first Australian Group I at Ascot on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart
Rosehill-based Moore, a former champion jockey in his own right and son of the legendary 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 Clark camping outside him.

The Joe Pride-trained favourite Terravista ($3.50) was handy tracking three deep for Hugh Bowman whilst recent Darley Classic winner Malaguerra ($3.80) box-seated for Ben Melham.

In a thrilling finish, Takedown ($9) wore down Sheidel ($8.50) in the shadows of the post to score by a long head, with the Chris Gangemi-trained Rock Magic ($13) flashing into third, beaten half-a-length.

“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.”

Malaguerra was pocketed at the top of the straight but had his chance, finishing fifth whilst the unlucky runner was the Grant and Alana Williams-trained State Solicitor ($7), which struck plenty of traffic for William Pike before flying through late, finishing sixth beaten 1-1/4 lengths.

Terravista was disappointing, wilting in the straight to finish tenth.

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.