Takeover Target

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Takeover Target
Takeover Target
Takeover Target in exhibition gallop at Queanbeyan Racecourse
Sire Celtic Swing (GB)
Grandsire Damister (USA)
Dam Shady Stream (AUS)
Damsire Archregent (CAN)
Sex Gelding
Foaled 27 September 1999
Died 20 June 2015
Country Australia
Colour Bay
Breeder Meringo Stud, New South Wales
Owner Joe Janiak, Ben Janiak
Trainer Joe Janiak
Record 41:21-6-4
Earnings A$6,028,311[1]
Major wins
Salinger Stakes (G1) (2004)
Lightning Stakes (G1) (2006)
Newmarket Handicap (G1) (2006)
King's Stand Stakes (G2) (2006)
Sprinters Stakes (G1) (2006)
Doomben 10,000 (G1) (2007)
KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) (2008)
T J Smith Stakes (G1) (2009))
The Goodwood (G1) (2009)
Australian Champion Sprinter (2006)
World's Highest Rated Turf Sprinter (2006)
IFHA rating: 121
Global Sprint Challenge Champion (2006)
Australian Champion International Performer (2006, 2007, 2008)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductee (2012)
Last updated on 16 April 2012

Takeover Target (27 September 1999 – 20 June 2015) was a much-travelled Australian Thoroughbred racehorse who won top sprinting races in each of the five major cities in Australia as well as in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Singapore.

He was owned and trained by Joe Janiak, a former Queanbeyan, New South Wales, taxi driver, and was ridden by Sydney-based jockey Jay Ford in all but two race starts. He was purchased for A$1,250 plus $125 GST in July 2003[2] and earned $6,028,311 in prize money.

Racing career[edit]

Sired by Celtic Swing out of the unraced dam Shady Stream, Takeover Target was ruled out of racing for thirty months due to leg and joint problems. He did not make his debut until he was a four-year-old. He was unbeaten in all of his starts in 2004 and set a seven-race winning run following his debut on 23 April 2004 in a 1,200 metre maiden race at Queanbeyan Racecourse. These wins included victory in the listed Pacesetter Stakes at Gosford Racecourse, the listed Ramornie Handicap at Grafton Racecourse, and the Group 1 Salinger Stakes at Flemington Racecourse in October of that year.

Takeover Target then endured two injuries which kept him out of racing for a further six months. He pulled up lame after winning a barrier trial at the Gold Coast Racecourse in late November 2004 while being prepared for two stakes races at Doomben Racecourse, then had a piece of infected bone removed from a hoof while being prepared for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival in 2005.

In 2005, he failed to win in six starts before a first-up win in December at Doomben Racecourse in the Group 3 Summer Stakes, winning by more than five lengths carrying 59.5 kg while breaking the 1,200 metre track record previously held by Lion Hunter with a time of 1:07.88.[3] He followed this up with another win in the listed Doomben Stakes, winning by three lengths carrying 60.5 kg and running within four one-hundreds of a second of the 1,350-metre track record held by Falvelon.

In the early part of 2006, Takeover Target won two Group 1 races, the Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap[4] at Flemington Racecourse, becoming only the third horse behind Black Onyx and Shaftesbury Avenue to carry at least 57 kg to victory in the Newmarket Handicap in the last thirty-six years. He also became only the second horse behind Maybe Mahal to win Flemington’s three major Group 1 sprints: the Salinger Stakes, Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap.[5] These wins resulted in Takeover Target being invited to compete in the Royal Ascot carnival in June in the United Kingdom.

His British campaign started successfully when he won the Group 2 King's Stand Stakes on 20 June 2006, defeating Benbaun. He then finished third behind Les Arcs in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes four days later and seventh behind Les Arcs in the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket Racecourse, beaten two lengths. After his King's Stand Stakes win, Takeover Target was declared the best sprinter in the world on turf by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities with a rating of 118, which improved to 121 with a win in Japan later in the year.[6]

At the end of the 2005-06 season, Takeover Target was named Australian Champion Sprinter.

From England, he travelled to Japan, where he finished second in the Group 2 Centaur Stakes at Chukyo Racecourse to locally trained mare She Is Tosho. In the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse, Takeover Target won by about three lengths, defeating a field which contained Meisho Bowler, Silent Witness, She Is Tosho, Les Arcs, and Benbaun. In Hong Kong, where he was to compete in the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint, he was withdrawn by stewards on the morning of the race for returning a positive reading to 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone hexanoate, a hormone. The horse was a short-priced favourite and, if he had won the race, his connections stood to collect a further US$1 million bonus in prize money for winning Group 1 races in the Global Sprint Challenge series in three of the four host countries. Instead the horse's owner and trainer, Joe Janiak, was fined 200,000 Hong Kong Dollars by stewards.

On International Day in Hong Kong, Takeover Target was crowned Global Sprint Challenge Champion for 2006, finishing with 53 points, well clear of his closest competitor on 17 points.[7]

His return to racing in Australia in 2007 was delayed, first by an injury sustained in an exhibition gallop at a Queanbeyan race meeting in early March, then by a virus which forced him to miss the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick Racecourse in early April. He resumed the following week in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick over 1,400 metres, where he ran fifth. Takeover Target then finished second in the Group 1 BTC Cup at Doomben Racecourse followed by a win in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, defeating the filly Gold Edition.[8] He then headed back to England for the 2007 Royal Ascot carnival.

On 19 June, he finished fourth in the Group 2 King's Stand Stakes behind Miss Andretti before finishing second in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes to American-bred entrant Soldier's Tale. He then returned to Australia and his new home at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales.

Due to the 2007 Australian equine influenza outbreak that spread throughout New South Wales and Queensland in late August, Takeover Target was not able to travel to Victoria to compete in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. He resumed racing on 1 December 2007 in a $100,000 Open Handicap race at Randwick. He carried 61 kg to defeat Dance Hero, a former Golden Slipper and multiple Group 1 winner. Three weeks later, Takeover Target raced again at Randwick in a listed race over 1,200 metres in what was dubbed a match race with Dance Hero. Takeover Target held off the late challenge of Scone mare Alverta to win the race. Dance Hero finished last. In the Group 2 Villiers Stakes over 1,400 metres, Takeover Target held off the challenge of the former North American-trained Group 1 winner Honor In War to win by a nose with Alverta 2½ lengths back in third place, but he lost the race on protest to Honor In War due to interference 200 metres from the finish.

Following a spell, Takeover Target returned to racing on 26 April 2008 in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes over 1,200 metres at Randwick, finishing third behind multiple Group 1 winner Apache Cat. He then travelled to Singapore, where he won the Singapore Turf Club’s KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) over 1200 metres at Kranji Racecourse on 18 May 2008 in new track record time of 1:08.80.[9]

From Singapore, Takeover Target travelled to England. On 17 June, he finished second in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes behind Equiano. Four days later, he finished fourth in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes behind Kingsgate Native despite suffering suspensory ligament damage during the ace.

At the end of the 2007-08 season, Takeover Target was named Australian Champion International Performer for the third consecutive season.

His return to racing in Australia was delayed as a consequence of a stone bruise sustained while being prepared for the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington Racecourse in early November 2008. He resumed three weeks later in the Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes over 1200 metres at Ascot Racecourse in Perth, Western Australia in what was promoted as an eagerly anticipated rematch with the reigning Australian Champion Sprinter Apache Cat. He led all the way and held off a late challenge from Apache Cat to win by a nose.[10] Two weeks later, Takeover Target contested the Group 3 A J Scahill Stakes over 1400 metres at Ascot Racecourse, defeating last season's race winner, Tarzi, by almost three lengths.

His next campaign began at Royal Randwick on 18 April 2009 in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes over 1,200 metres against five other Group One winners, including last year's victor, Apache Cat. Nash Rawiller was declared the rider as Joe Janiak stated he didn't want the horse carrying too much 'dead weight' as regular rider Jay Ford was due to ride on the same card with a light weight so would have to carry extra weight on Takeover Target. He went out third favourite behind Apache Cat and after jumping well crossed to the lead. He kicked away in the straight and won by two and three quarter lengths from 3yo Northern Meteor with three lengths to Apache Cat in third in race record time. He was given a warm reception by the crowd returning to scale.[11] Two weeks later, Takeover Target contested The Goodwood (G1) over 1,200 metres at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia, where he defeated I Am Invincible by one length.[12] He then travelled to Singapore, where he ran eighth in the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint over 1,200 metres at Kranji Racecourse on 17 May 2009.

From Singapore, Takeover Target travelled to England, where he was to contest the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes on 20 June at Royal Ascot, only to be withdrawn on race eve due to an elevated temperature. Three weeks later, he contested the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket Racecourse, finishing in seventh behind Fleeting Spirit. He sustained a career-ending injury when he cracked the cannon bone in his near hind leg. After he underwent surgery at the Newmarket Equine Veterinary Hospital to insert five screws in the cannon bone, Janiak officially announced his retirement.[13]

In a career that spanned six seasons, Takeover Target won twenty-one of his forty-one starts, including eight races at Group One level, and accumulated $6,028,311 in prize money, which places him in sixth position amongst the Millionaire racehorses trained in Australia. He is the only specialist sprinter in the top twenty.

A book titled TAKEOVER TARGET - THE BEST $1375 JOE JANIAK EVER SPENT was released after his retirement in 2009.

In September 2010, Janiak announced that Takeover Target might race again as he was fully recovered from the leg injury that forced his retirement and was as keen as ever to continue racing. In October 2010, Janiak said that the horse would not make a comeback.

Takeover Target was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. The horse, known as Archie, was retired to "Toofrook" in Lawrence, Northern Rivers, NSW. He was euthanised after suffering a serious leg injury in his paddock on 20 June 2015.

Race record[edit]

2003-04 season as a four year old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 23/4/2004 Open Maiden Queanbeyan 1200m 57.0 1:09.93 J. Ford Ras Tafari 2nd
Won 6/5/2004 Class 1 Handicap Wagga 1200m 57.5 1:09.41 J. Ford Devour 2nd
Won 19/5/2004 4yo Restricted Handicap Randwick 1400m 52.0 1:23.92 J. Ford Bibury Court 2nd
Won 5/6/2004 4yo Open Handicap Rosehill 1200m 51.0 1:09.51 J. Ford Spinjester 2nd
Won 24/6/2004 Pacesetter Stakes (L) Gosford 1200m 53.0 1:09.70 J. Ford Mustard 2nd
Won 14/7/2004 Ramornie Handicap (L) Grafton 1200m 54.5 1:08.41 J. Ford Devil 2nd
2004-05 season as a five year old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 30/10/2004 Salinger Stakes (G1) Flemington 1200m 53.0 1:08.27 J. Ford Recurring 2nd
4th 30/4/2005 BTC Cup (G2) Doomben 1200m 57.5 1:09.00 J. Ford Spark Of Life 1st
3rd 21/5/2005 Doomben 10,000 (G1) Doomben 1350m 58.0 1:18.63 J. Ford Red Oog 1st
10th 11/6/2005 Stradbroke Handicap (G1) Eagle Farm 1400m 54.0 1:20.70 J. Ford St Basil 1st
2nd 25/6/2005 Carlton Draught Stakes (G3) Eagle Farm 1200m 57.5 1:09.40 J. Ford Poetic Papal 1st
2005-06 season as a six year old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
4th 29/10/2005 Salinger Stakes (G1) Flemington 1200m 54.0 1:08.93 J. Ford Glamour Puss 1st
7th 5/11/2005 The Age Classic (G2) Flemington 1200m 57.5 1:08.92 S. Arnold Glamour Puss 1st
Won 10/12/2005 Summer Stakes (G3) Doomben 1200m 59.5 1:07.88 J. Ford Picardi Run 2nd
Won 24/12/2005 Doomben Stakes (L) Doomben 1350m 60.5 1:17.25 J. Ford Impaler 2nd
Won 4/2/2006 Lightning Stakes (G1) Flemington 1000m 57.5 0:56.80 J. Ford God’s Own 2nd
3rd 25/2/2006 Oakleigh Plate (G1) Caulfield 1100m 57.0 1:04.46 J. Ford Snitzel 1st
Won 11/3/2006 Newmarket Handicap (G1) Flemington 1200m 57.0 1:08.03 J. Ford Snitzel 2nd
Won 20/6/2006 King's Stand Stakes (G2) Royal Ascot 1005m 61.0 0:59.79 J. Ford Benbaun 2nd
3rd 24/6/2006 Golden Jubilee Stakes (G1) Royal Ascot 1206m 59.5 1:13.12 J. Ford Les Arcs 1st
7th 14/7/2006 July Cup (G1) Newmarket 1206m 60.0 1:11.16 J. Ford Les Arcs 1st
2006-07 season as a seven year old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
2nd 10/9/2006 Centaur Stakes (G2) Chukyo 1200m 59.0 1:08.60 J. Ford She Is Tosho 1st
Won 1/10/2006 Sprinters Stakes (G1) Nakayama 1200m 58.0 1:08.10 J. Ford Meisho Bowler 2nd
5th 14/04/2007 All Aged Stakes (G1) Randwick 1400m 59.0 1:24.07 J. Ford Bentley Biscuit 1st
2nd 12/5/2007 BTC Cup (G1) Doomben 1200m 58.5 1;08.57 J. Ford Bentley Biscuit 1st
Won 26/5/2007 Doomben 10,000 (G1) Doomben 1350m 59.0 1:18.55 J. Ford Gold Edition 2nd
4th 19/6/2007 King's Stand Stakes (G2) Royal Ascot 1005m 59.5 0:57.44 J. Ford Miss Andretti 1st
2nd 23/6/2007 Golden Jubilee Stakes (G1) Royal Ascot 1206m 59.5 1:14.51 J. Ford Soldier’s Tale 1st
2007-08 season as an eight year old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 1/12/2007 Arrowfield Stud Quality Randwick 1200m 61.0 1:08.95 J. Ford Dance Hero 2nd
Won 22/12/2007 Razor Sharp Quality (L) Randwick 1200m 61.0 1:09.56 J. Ford Alverta 2nd
2nd 5/1/2008 Villiers Stakes Quality (G2) Randwick 1400m 61.0 1:21.54 J. Ford Honor In War 1st
3rd 26/4/2008 T J Smith Stakes (G1) Randwick 1200m 58.5 1:11.80 J. Ford Apache Cat 1st
Won 18/5/2008 KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) Kranji 1200m 57.0 1:08.80 J. Ford Magnus 2nd
2nd 17/6/2008 King's Stand Stakes (G1) Royal Ascot 1005m 59.5 0:59.35 J. Ford Equiano 1st
4th 21/6/2008 Golden Jubilee Stakes (G1) Royal Ascot 1206m 59.5 1:13.33 J. Ford Kingsgate Native 1st
2008-09 season as a nine year old
Result Date Race Venue Distance Weight (kg) Time Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 29/11/2008 Winterbottom Stakes (G2) Ascot 1200m 58.5 1:09.15 J. Ford Apache Cat 2nd
Won 13/12/2008 A J Scahill Stakes (G3) Ascot 1400m 59.0 1:22.80 J. Ford Tarzi 2nd
Won 18/4/2009 T J Smith Stakes (G1) Randwick 1200m 58.5 1:09.09 N. Rawiller Northern Meteor 2nd
Won 2/5/2009 The Goodwood (G1) Morphettville 1200m 58.5 1:10.78 J. Ford I Am Invincible 2nd
8th 17/5/2009 KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) Kranji 1200m 57.0 1:07.80 J. Ford Sacred Kingdom 1st
7th 10/7/2009 July Cup (G1) Newmarket 1206m 59.5 1:09.58 J. Ford Fleeting Spirit 1st


Pedigree of Takeover Target (AUS) (11) (B. g. 1999)
Celtic Swing (GB)
br. 1992
Damister (USA)
b. 1982
Mr. Prospector (USA) Raise A Native (USA)
Gold Digger (USA)
Batucada (USA) Roman Line (USA)
Whistle A Tune (USA)
Celtic Ring (GB)
b. 1984
Welsh Pageant (FR) Tudor Melody (GB)
Picture Light (FR)
Pencuik Jewel (GB) Petingo (GB)
Fotheringay (FRA)
Shady Stream (AUS)
ch. 1994
Archregent (CAN)
b. 1981
Vice Regent (CAN) Northern Dancer (CAN)
Victoria Regina (CAN)
Respond (CAN) Canadian Champ (CAN)
Reply (USA)
Merry Shade (AUS)
gr. 1989
Spectacular Spy (USA) Spectacular Bid (USA)
Lassie Dear (USA)
Parasol (AUS) Sostenuto (ITY)
Mary Poppins (AUS)