One of the best sprinters in Australian horse racing history, Takeover Target.
Takeover Target travelled far and wide, winning sprint races all over the globe.
In a career that spanned six seasons, the formidable colt won eight Group 1 races and accumulated over $6,000,000 in prize money. From 41 starts, Takeover Target won 21 races in spite of being plagued ever so often by injuries during his career.
One of the most travelled Australian Thoroughbred racehorses is undoubtedly, Takeover Target. Foaled in September 1999, the colt was soon to become a top sprinter in each of the five major racing centers in Australia.
Owned and trained by Joe Janiak, a former NSW taxi driver, Takeover Target raced in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Japan as well. His jockey for all but two starts was Sydney-based Jay Ford.
Blazing the tracks across continents, Takeover Target did his owner proud. After being purchased for a mere AUD 1,250, the colt ended his racing career having earned $6,028,311 in prize money.
By Celtic Swing Out Of Shady Stream
Takeover Target was by Celtic Swing out of Shady Stream. Leg and joint problems hampered the start of the colt's career who finally made it to the race tracks as a four year old.
However, this did not make any difference, as Takeover Target literally took over the tracks remaining unbeaten in all his starts during the 2004 season, setting a winning run of seven races.
His first victory was at the Queanbeyan Racecourse in a 1200 meter race on 23 April 2004. Other major wins during the season were in the Pacesetter Stakes at Gosford Racecourse and Ramornie Handicap at Grafton Racecourse, both listed races. His major Group 1 victory was in the Salinger Stakes at Flemington Racecourse the same year.
Once again plagued by injuries, Takeover Target was prevented from racing for six months after which he came back to win a barrier trial at the Gold Coast Racecourse in preparation for two stakes races at Doomben Racecourse. However, he pulled up lame and have to have a piece of infected bone removed from a hoof. The beginning of the 2005 season wasn't one his connections would like to remember.
Takeover Target failed in his first six outings before making it to the winning post by more than five lengths in the Group 3 Summer Stakes at Doomben in December. However, this marked the beginning of another winning spree, also beating the track record with a time of 1:07.88. The Doomben Stakes was next, with a victory margin of three lengths while carrying 60.5 kg.
Great Form Continues
Takeover Target's splendid form continued in 2006 with two Group 1 races in the kitty at the start of the season. This included the Newmarket Handicap and Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
He also had the distinction of becoming the second horse to win three major Group 1 sprints at Flemington, after Maybe Mahal, which included the Salinger Stakes.
These notable victories were the stepping stone to the colts entry at the Royal Ascot Carnival in June in the UK. Takeover Target took the British tracks by storm, winning the King's Stand Stakes, a Group 2 race in June 2006. After his victory, the colt was declared the best sprinter in the world by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. His rating of 118 after the rate further improved to 121 after a victory in Japan later in the year.
Takeover Target also ended the 2005-06 season as Australian Champion Sprinter.
In Japan, Takeover Target finished second in the Group 2 Centaur Stakes, followed by an incredible victory in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes by three lengths at the Nakayama Racecourse. The colt beat the best of the crop in the race which included Meisho Bowler who finished second, Silent Witness, and Benbaun, among others.
Moving to Hong Kong, Takeover Target was withdrawn from the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint after testing positive for a hormone. His connections ended up being fined 200,000 Hong Kong Dollars by the stewards. However, he was later crowned the Global Sprint Challenge Champion for 2006, well ahead of his competitors.
An injury and nasty virus delayed Takeover Target's start in the 2007 season back home in Australia. His major win was in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 later in the season, before heading back for the 2007 Royal Ascot Carnival. He finished fourth in the Group 2 King's Stand Stakes and second in the Group 1 Jubilee Stakes.
Back home, an equine influenza spread throughout NSW and Queensland, preventing Takeover Target from travelling to Victoria for the Melbourne Spring Carnival. He resumed at the end of the year with a win in the $100,000 Open Handicap race at Randwick Racecourse.
Three weeks later he won a listed 1200 metre race beating Alverta, followed by a victory in the 1400 metre Group 2 Villiers Stakes.
2008 Season Travels To Singapore
During the 2008 season, Takeover Target travelled to Singapore to win the Singapore Turf Club's KrisFlyer International Sprint, a 1200 metre race at the Kranji Racecourse, setting a new track record time of 1:08.80. Back to England, the colt managed a second place and a fourth despite suffering from ligament damage.
Again back home, Takeover Target became the Australian Champion International Performer for the third time. His major victory came in the 1200 metre Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot Racecourse in Perth, winning by a nose from Apache Cat, the reigning Australian Champion Sprinter. He also won the 1400 metre Group 3 A J Scahill Stakes, beating Tarzi by three lengths.
A change of jockeys in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes over 1200 metres did not make a difference, as Nash Rawiller drove the colt home by two and three quarter lengths. Victories in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide followed.
Rides in Singapore and UK followed, but not with much success as the colt suffered an elevated temperature.
Trainer Joe Janiak finally announced Takeover Target's retirement after undergoing surgery at the Newmarket Equine Veterinary Hospital.
Takeover Target earned a much deserved place at Living Legends, the International Home of Rest for Champion Horses located in Woodlands Historic Park, Greenvale, Victoria, Australia.