Three in a row for Texan Takeover


After promising galloper Texan Takeover reeled off a third successive win on Polytrack on Sunday, trainer Michael Freedman was toying with the idea of starting the former Victorian galloper over more ground on turf next. 

The Stravinsky four-year-old has also secured all his wins (over 1100m) by rising to the step-up in class in the best possible way. After his debut win in Class 4 company, Texan Takeover then scored in Class 3 and was just as dominant in Sunday’s Open Benchmark 83 class of the $95,000 Panasonic Systems Professional Stakes. 

After being one of the best away, Texan Takeover was slotted into fourth spot by jockey Joao Moreira, lying in wait for the right moment to strike. Upfront Lago Bay (John Powell), who had wrested the lead from the 700m from Swagger (Barend Vorster), was still holding sway upon straightening, but once Texan Takeover threw down the gauntlet, the issue was quickly put beyond doubt.

Joao Moreira makes it a race-to-race treble aboard Texan Takeover. Picture: Singapore Turf Club.

Freedman’s charge swept past Lago Bay with relative ease but from the back, a surging run from Bigdinero (Mohd Suhaimi) looked like he could cut the favourite back, but it was only fleeting as the challenge lacked bite, allowing Texan Takeover to draw clear to score by more than two lengths from Bigdinero with Lago Bay holding on for third another 1 ¾ lengths away. 

The winning time was 1min 5.02secs. 

While saluting the Segenhoe Stud’s decision to send their charge to Singapore, Freedman was keen to prove that the future was not one-dimensional. 

“He’s answered the question every time I’ve stepped him up in class. He won in Class 4 and 3 and today was like a Class 2,” said Freedman. 

“For a horse to do that in three runs and win, it has to be a good effort. He’s certainly got heaps of ability. 

“I’ll have a look around at what’s available, but I would like to try him over a bit further and on turf. 

“I’ll see what’s coming up. If he keeps holding his form, a race like the EW Barker Trophy could be suitable.” 

The Group 2 handicap race over 1400m has been a favourite of the Australian in the last two years with Any Humour and Super Easy victorious in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

This year’s renewal will be run on November 9. Moreira, who was at a winning treble (scored earlier with Devonshire and King Empire), agreed that Texan Takeover was a horse with plenty of upsides and deserved his chance at longer races over turf. 

“He’s done a great job to have won three from three. He jumped so quick and was able to get a nice and easy trail behind the speed,” said Moreira. 

“When he got a clear run at the top of the straight, he just put himself in front and gave such a strong kick. “Michael has done such a great job with this horse. Usually such horses take a while to acclimatise but this one has settled in so quickly. 

“I think he deserves to run over longer on turf, but I would say 1400m is probably the furthest he should go.”