Takeover Target dies at Fifteen

By: Mark Mazzaglia
June 20th, 2015

The ‘People’s Champion’ Takeover Target has been put down following an accident at his Coffs Harbour retirement paddock.

Jockey Jay Ford rode champion sprinter Takeover Target in twenty of his twenty-one wins. Photo by Daniel Costello.

The fifteen year old Takeover Target was enjoying his later years after collecting eight Group 1 victories all around the world.

Canberra taxi driver and part time trainer Joe Janiak claimed worldwide recognition after he took Takeover Target from the back blocks of Canberra to win major sprint races in Australia before claiming Group 1 victories in Japan and Singapore as well as a win at Royal Ascot.

The rags to riches story began when Janiak purchases the unraced four year old for $1400 and he went on to become a house hold name in Australia and retired in 2009 with twenty-one wins, eight at Group 1 level, from forty-one starts, and earned over $6 million is prizemoney.

Popular Sydney jockey Jay Ford was aboard the mighty sprinter for twenty of those wins with Nash Rawiller claiming the win in the 2009 Group 1 $500,000 T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick.

Takeover Target clinched his first Group 1 win in the 2004  $500,000 Salinger Stakes over 1200m down the Flemington straight but had to wait until 2006 to collected his second in the $500,000 Lightning Stakes over 1000m at Flemington again.

Janiak took the flashy bay gelding back to Flemington two starts later to win the $1m Newmarket Handicap over 1200m.

A trip to England was then organised and Takeover Target didn’t let Janiak or Australia down with a win in the Group 2 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at the 2006 Royal Ascot Carnival.

Takeover Target couldn’t crack it for a Group 1 win in England but was able to claim one in Japan later in the year winning the Sprinter’s Stakes (1200m) at Nakayama.

He was back in the Group 1 winner’s circle during the 2007 Brisbane Winter Carnival with a victory in the $650,000 Doomben 10,000 at Doomben.

A win in the Group 1 Krisflyer (1200m) in 2008 maintained Takeover Target’s profile on the world stage and he keep that high ranking back in Australia with wins in the Group1 $500,000 T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick and in the Group 1 $300,000 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville in 2009.

Takeover Target was retired after suffering a serious leg injury when he finished unplaced in the 2009 Group 1 July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket in England.

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