Champion sprinter Takeover Target has been euthanized after succumbing to injuries sustained in a paddock accident.

Takeover Target winning at the first post-EI meeting at Randwick in 2007. Photo: Steve Hart

Takeover Target’s career was one of the Australian turf’s greatest stories.

Purchased by his trainer Joe Janiak in the Inglis sales ring at a tried horse sale for a measly $1400, the son of Celtic Swing shot his former cab driving trainer to prominence on the world stage.

Janiak took Takeover Target to the races for the first time in April 2004. At Queanbeyan, his home track, the then four-year-old led throughout to win by seven lengths. Janiak then ventured to Wagga with his exciting prospect and this time he won by 7-1/4 lengths.

Takeover Target won his next two starts in the city by a combined margin of 8-3/4 lengths before having his first start in stakes company. He won the Pacesetter Stakes at Gosford before extending his record to six wins from as many starts in the Ramornie Handicap.

After a spell, Takeover Target resumed in the Salinger Stakes and he lit up Derby day at Flemington scoring his maiden Group I win.

Following another spell, Takeover Target tasted his first defeat when beaten in the BTC Cup during the 2005 Brisbane winter carnival. That defeat was followed by six more before he returned to the winner’s list in a Group III contest at Doomben in December.

In March the following year Takeover Target won the Group I Newmarket Handicap at Flemington before Janiak decided it was time to take on the world.

A maiden trip to England resulted in victory in the King’s Stand Stakes before a respectable third in the Golden Jubilee Stakes and an unplaced effort in the July Stakes.

It was then off to Japan where he won the Group I Sprinters Cup.

In 2007 Takeover Target won the Doomben 10,000 before returning to England where he was fourth in the King’s Stand Stakes and second in the Golden Jubilee Stakes.

He returned home to be the headline act at the first post-Equine Influenza meeting in Sydney in December when he beat Golden Slipper winner Dance Hero at Randwick. Another win followed in a rescheduled Razor Sharp Stakes before stewards controversially upheld a protest against him in the Villiers Stakes.

After finishing third in the TJ Smith Stakes in April Takeover Target was off overseas again winning the Group I KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore before returning to England.

A second placing in the King’s Stand Stakes was followed by a fourth in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. He returned to Australian and headed to Perth where he scored Group II and Group III victories.

His last two Australian starts in 2009 returned Group I wins in the TJ Smith Stakes and Goodwood as a nine-year-old before his last overseas expedition which resulted in unplaced performances in the KrisFlyer Sprint and the July Cup.

Takeover Target raced on 41 occasions for 21 wins and 10 placings for earnings of more than $6.3 million.

Takeover Target died at the age of 15.
Clinton Payne