Takeover Shot Hinges On Majestic Start From Allard’s Mare

Trainer Grant Allard is confident he has talented mare Majestic Shot ready to peak at Gosford on Saturday but if she’s going to be a force in the Listed $200,000 De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) the start is all important.

It’s been four weeks since the four-year-old’s luckless second-up fifth in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes on a heavy 10 at Randwick and Allard says she appears to have taken no harm from the testing run.

In that race she completely blew the start, making her job that much tougher on a track where it was hard to make ground, and was held up in the straight so Allard was rapt she was only beaten three lengths.

“She has done it before, she missed the start when she won her second race, but I do prefer her to jump away and be on pace,’’ Allard said.

“She stepped away nicely first-up, she sat third on the fence and hopefully she will be much the same on Saturday.

“Hopefully she is in the firing line. If she can jump away and put herself in the firing line early she should be in the finish.

“This race has always been on the radar, the back end of the Sydney carnival, but I was quite surprised to see Shelby Sixtysix and horses like that in the race. In saying that it’s the home track and it is a nice race for her.”

Majestic Shot, $8 with TAB on Friday, has won five of her 10 starts and Allard says she reacts best with a gap between runs.

There is the unknown of what toll her last run took but as far as he can see there’s been no ill-effects and the mare is working as well as ever.

“Three weeks is an ideal scenario for her, the extra week has probably done her good,’’ he said.

“She licked the bin clean after the last run but you don’t know how much it takes out of them.

“We’re fortunate we train off a property and she’s able to get out into a yard. Her work has been outstanding, the last couple of gallops. Third-up she should be at her peak fitness now.”

Mitchell Bell partners Majestic Shot along with stablemate Magic On Ice who is out to continue his rich form in the Midway Handicap (1200m).

The gelding, owned by Allard, ran out a dominant winner at Gosford over 1100m on Anzac Day in a race the trainer concedes did pan out for him perfectly.

With the step up in class to a Midway, and a less favourable barrier, the job won’t be so easy but he can only be confident the gelding will hold his form.

“He loves the wet, it was a small enough field and he was able to find a nice position off the pace and draw away at the end the other day,’’ he said.

“He’s drawn a bit awkwardly and is going to need a bit of luck but he’s had three runs back for two dominant wins and hopefully he can go on with the job.

“The beauty of Gosford is you have a nice long straight before you start turning. Hopefully he can be positive out of the gates and gets in somewhere nice and handy.”

– Racing NSW

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