Randwick farewell for Takeover Target
Racing’s pin-up Takeover Target will make a special appearance at Randwick on Saturday week to give fans a chance to say goodbye to the now-retired champion sprinter.
The eight-time Group One winner will be paraded between races for the public and a presentation will be made to his owner-trainer Joe Janiak.
Two races at the Australian Jockey Club meeting will be named after the popular duo and, in line with Takeover Target’s racing colours of red and black checks, there will be a red and black colour theme on course.
"Sydney’s racing public is urged to come to Royal Randwick to show their admiration for the horse that became one of the greatest stories in the history of Australian racing," AJC acting chief executive Darren Pearce said.
"This horse is just such a great story from his unwanted beginnings to his triumphs at Royal Ascot.
"And here at Royal Randwick, we are delighted to kick off his round of farewell appearances.
"After all, this is the scene of his first city race win over five years ago and he was the drawcard to get punters back to the track as Royal Randwick opened its doors for the first time in months after the scourge of equine influenza."
The AJC has organised Takeover Target donuts, tattoos and badges which will be free while posters, caps and t-shirts showing his race record will be available for sale.
The gelding’s regular jockey Jay Ford will also be at Randwick for the farewell celebrations.
Takeover Target was retired earlier this year after breaking down in the Group One July Cup at Newmarket, closing the curtain on one of racing’s great stories.
Janiak bought the gelding as a tried horse for just $1375 and Takeover Target went on to win 21 of his 41 starts and more than $6 million in prizemoney, taking Janiak around the world in the process.
His last Sydney start was in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April, a race he won convincingly before travelling to Adelaide to take out the Goodwood.
"Back in April a frenzied crowd here gave him a sustained standing ovation," Pearce said.
"This time round, race patrons will be able to farewell him with the warmth and affection that acknowledges a truly great champion and of course, the super efforts of Joe Janiak to keep him racing at the highest level for so many years."