Takeover Target

Takeover Target


Takeover Target (foaled 27 September 1999) is a much travelled Australian Thoroughbred racehorse who has won top sprinting races in each of the five major cities in Australia as well as the United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore. He is owned and was 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 and earned $6,028,311 in prize money.

Sired by Celtic Swing out of the dam Shady Stream who was unraced, Takeover Target was ruled out of racing for thirty months due to leg and joint problems, and 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 would keep him out of racing for a further six months. He pulled up lame after effortlessly 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 to have 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. 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 continued his good form by winning two Group 1 races, the Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap 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. These wins resulted in Takeover Target being invited to compete in the Royal Ascot carnival in June in the United Kingdom.

Takeover Target’s British campaign started successfully by winning 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, being 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 would improve to 121 with a subsequent win in Japan later in the year.

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

From England, Takeover Target 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, Takeover Target 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 horses owner and trainer Joe Janiak was fined 200,000 Hong Kong Dollars by stewards.

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

Takeover Target’s 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, and 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. He then headed back to England for the 2007 Royal Ascot carnival.

On 19 June Takeover Target 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. Takeover Target 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. Takeover Target 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 and Group 1 winner Honor In War to win by a nose with Alverta 2½ lengths back in third place but 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. Takeover Target 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.

From Singapore, Takeover Target travelled to England and on 17 June he finished second in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes behind Equiano. Four days later Takeover Target finished a brave fourth in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes behind Kingsgate Native despite suffering suspensory ligament damage during the running of the race.

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

Takeover Target’s 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 of a late challenge from Apache Cat to win by a nose in a thrilling finish. Two weeks later Takeover Target contested the Group 3 A J Scahill Stakes over 1400 metres at Ascot Racecourse, effortlessly defeating last seasons 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 years 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 lead. He kicked away in the straight and won effortlessly 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 in one of his finest moments. 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. Takeover Target then travelled to Singapore where he ran a disappointing eighth placing 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 Takeover Target contested the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket Racecourse, finishing in seventh placing behind Fleeting Spirit, but 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 his owner and trainer Joe Janiak officially announced his retirement.

In a career that spanned six seasons Takeover Target won twenty one of his forty one race 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 and 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, owner/trainer Joe Janiak announced that Takeover Target may race again as he has fully recovered from the leg injury that forced his retirement and was as keen as ever to continue racing only to announce in October 2010 that Takeover Target would not be making a comeback to racing.

Takeover Target was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.

Takeover Target, fondly known as Archie, is enjoying his retirement at “Toofrook” in Lawrence, Northern Rivers, NSW.

Takeover Target at Living Legends

Takeover Target at Living Legends



Date of Birth: 27/09/1999 in Australia

Sex: Gelding     Colour: Bay

Sire: Celtic Swing (GB)     Dam: Shady Stream (AUS)
Grand Sire: Damister (USA)

Trainer: Joe Janiak

Breeder: Meringo Stud, New South Wales

Owners: Joe Janiak, Ben Janiak



Career Record

Takeover Target wins the 2007 Doomben 10,000

Takeover Target wins the 2007 Doomben 10,000.

Prize Money: $6,348,650
Starts: 41       Wins: 21       2nds: 6       3rds: 4

Major Wins:

  • Salinger Stakes (2004)
  • Lightning Stakes (2006)
  • Newmarket Handicap (2006)
  • King’s Stand Stakes (2006)
  • Sprinters Stakes (2006)
  • Doomben 10,000 (2007)
  • KrisFlyer International Sprint (2008)
  • T J Smith Stakes (2009))
  • The Goodwood (2009)


Date Venue Track Distance Race
02/05/2009 MORP Slow 1200 THE GOODWOOD
18/04/2009 RAND Dead 1200 T J SMITH STAKES
13/12/2008 ASCT Good 1400 A J SCAHILL STAKES
18/05/2008 SING Good 1200 KRISFLYER
22/12/2007 RAND Dead 1200 RAZOR SHARP QUALITY
26/05/2007 DOOM Good 1350 DOOMBEN 10,000
01/10/2006 NAKA Good 1200 SPRINTERS STAKES
20/06/2006 ASC Good 1005 KING’s STAND STAKES
11/03/2006 FLEM Good 1200 NEWMARKET HCP
04/02/2006 FLEM Good 1000 LIGHTNING STAKES
24/12/2005 DOOM Good 1350 DOOMBEN STAKES
10/12/2005 DOOM Good 1200 SUMMER STAKES
29/10/2004 FLEM Good 1200 SALINGER STAKES
14/07/2004 GRAF Good 1200 RAMORNIE STAKES
24/06/2004 GOSF Good 1200 PACESETTER STAKES
05/06/2004 RHIL Good 1200 $YO OPEN HCP
19/05/2004 KENS Good 1400 4YO RESTRICTED HCP
06/05/2004 WAGG Good 1200 CLASS 1 HCP
23/04/2004 QBYN Good 1200 E&G MAIDEN


Australian Champion Sprinter (2006)
World’s Highest Rated Turf Sprinter (2006)
Global Sprint Challenge Champion (2006)
Australian Champion International Performer (2006, 2007, 2008)

Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2012)



Video: Takeover Target — Goes to Bondi

Video: Takeover Target — Krisflyer Sprint Singapore 2008

Video: Takeover Target — Sprinters Stakes Japan 2006

Video: Takeover Target — Kings Stand Stakes Ascot 2006