Take over on target for Kiwi raid
Takeover Target looks set to run in next month’s Group One Telegraph Handicap in New Zealand with authorities expected to relax the quarantine protocols by Monday.
Trainer Joe Janiak is keen for the champion sprinter to race in the Wellington feature on January 17 and is anxiously awaiting the green light to allow the horse to travel.
The nine-year-old underwent a veterinary examination following his slashing victory in the Scahill at Ascot on December 13 and was found to be slightly lame in the near foreleg.
“He’s fine, he just jarred up a bit on the hard track and will be right to run in New Zealand if they let us go over,” Janiak said.
“If they don’t let him run, then I’ll give him a little break and bring him back for the T J Smith (Stakes) and then it’s Singapore then England.
“It would be a pity to send him to the paddock because he is just getting fit.”
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) spokesman Simon Cooper said the feedback from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) has been encouraging this week.
“They have to go through a public consultation process and the submissions close on Saturday and on Monday they will process them,” Cooper said.
“At the moment they have received three submissions and they are all in support of dropping the quarantine protocols, so as it stands, it is looking very good.
“They (MAF) are not anticipating anymore submissions and on the basis that it stays as it is, we should be fine on Monday.”
Cooper said statutory requirements state there is a 10-day period for a new import health standard to be put in place.
“And on the 11th working day of it being in place it means we actually have that import health standard to allow horses to come straight in and race the next day,” Cooper said.
“And on that basis, we could be looking at those new quarantine standards coming in on January 13 or 14, meaning that Takeover Target could travel to New Zealand and give him two to three days rest before racing.”
NZTR international agent Jack Petley said Takeover Target would help put New Zealand racing on the map.
“Getting a horse like Takeover Target would be a tremendous boost for racing, he would get so many people through the gates and guarantee great media exposure for the meeting and the industry,” Petley said.
“If they are serious about attracting the best horses from around the world then getting Takeover Target to run in the Telegraph is crucial.”
By Russell Jackson