Rawiller to Takeover from Ford in TJ
Jay Ford has been assured by trainer Joe Janiak he still has a future on champion sprinter Takeover Target despite being replaced by heavyweight rider Nash Rawiller in Saturday’s Group One TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
“It’s disappointing but he’s a super horse and Joe has to look after him,” Ford said.
“I found out this morning (Wednesday) and he said that with a rain-affected track and with me being a lightweight rider he wanted to minimise the dead weight on the horse.
“Joe said I’ll be on him for his next start which is supposed to be the Goodwood.”
Ford has ridden the fairytale sprinter in all but one of his 37 starts and has partnered him to all his 19 victories including wins in Japan, Singapore, Australia and England.
Nine-year-old Takeover Target took his earnings past $5.5 million with his last-start win in the Scahill Stakes in Perth in December.
Ford rode Takeover Target in a track gallop at Randwick on Tuesday ahead of the weekend sprint which includes Apache Cat and Racing To Win.
“He’s got the horse’s best interest at heart,” Ford said of Janiak.
Ford said he would still be cheering on Takeover Target from the jockeys’ room on Saturday.
“Of course, even though I’m not on his back I’ll be hoping he wins,” Ford said.
When asked if he had any advice for Rawiller, Ford said there were no tricks to riding the champion.
“He’s pretty much bombproof, you just sit on and hang on,” Ford said.
Rawiller said he was honoured to secure the ride on the Australian racing legend.
“I’m rapt,” Rawiller said.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate to ride some outstanding sprinters over the years but he’ll be the best one I sit on.
“But there’s absolutely no chance of me sticking with him, Jay will be back on him.”
Janiak’s plans for Takeover Target include the Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville in May and a defence of the KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore before he decides on another trip to Royal Ascot.
By Russell Jackson