Gallant Takeover Just Misses Target 24/06/06
Tuesday’s Australian-trained King’s Stand Stakes winner Takeover Stand just failed in his bid to land a Royal Ascot sprint double when finishing third to Les Arcs in the Golden Jubilee Stakes.
Jockey Jay Ford reported: “He travelled very well but just had nothing left at the end. He ran a gutsy third but at the end of the day I think the four-day back-up was too big an ask for him.”
Trainer Joe Janiak still plans to send the seven-year-old to next month’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket and added: “He was a little flat at the finish and I think the back-up caught up with him. He picked up beautifully and after he gets over these couple of runs he’ll be fine. He’ll stay over here to go for the July Cup and then I don’t know what he’ll do.
“I’m absolutely wrapped and so pleased I came over. I couldn’t expect much more than that beforehand. Six furlongs is still his best trip and the 1,200 metres in the July Cup will suit him. He tried 110 per cent as he alwatys does and there’s no disgrace running third in a Group 1.”
Get Set For A Golden Jubilee Thriller 23/06/06
Takeover Target will on Saturday bid to emulate the magnificent achievement of fellow Australian raider Choisir, who won both the King’s Stand and Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2003.
Takeover Target proved the star of the show on the opening day of the meeting, blazing to a narrow success over Benbaun in the famous Group 2 over the minimum trip. Now the seven-year-old gelding will seek to add a Royal meeting Group 1 triumph to that feat when he contests Saturday’s six-furlong sprint.
Trainer Joe Janiak said: “He still has his winter coat and was a bit on the big side for the King’s Stand. He should be right for Saturday now.”
Takeover Target has18 rivals to contend with, including King’s Stand third Pivotal Point.
Les Arcs, beaten by two lengths in Tuesday’s race, is another to have a second tilt at Janiak’s speedball, as will Ashdown Express, 12th in the King’s Stand.
Fayr Jag, the 2004 winner of the Golden Jubilee Stakes, is also in the field, while Glamour Puss - another Australian runner - comes with a fine reputation. She was only beaten a length back in seventh in the King’s Stand and eight of her nine triumphs have come over six furlongs.
Godolphin’s chances of a second winner in the race rest with Iffraaj, who won the Wokingham 12 months ago.
Royal Applause won the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 1997 for trainer Barry Hills, who will this time be represented by Etlaala, a Salisbury Listed winner last Sunday.
The Tatling, who struck in the King’s Stand Stakes two years ago and was 10th in that race on Tuesday, goes in search of more Royal Ascot joy. Quito has another shot at the race after finishing mid-division in last year’s renewal won by the Hong-Kong trained Cape Of Good Hope.
There are four runners from the classic generation with Noelani - John Oxx’s only runner at this year’s Royal Ascot - Ajigolo, Amadeus Wolf and Balthazar’s Gift all seeking to enhance their reputation. The field will be completed by Beckermet, Steenberg, Eisteddfod, Royal Storm and Gift Horse.
Takeover Target’s thrilling triumph in yesterday’s King’s Stand Stakes - the first British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge - stole all the headlines in the media’s Royal Ascot coverage after the first day.
James Button in the Sydney Morning Herald reported: “The nags-to-riches fairytale of Takeover Target reached new heights on Tuesday when the Queanbeyan sprinter won the Group 2, 1000 metre King's Stand Stakes on the first day of Royal Ascot.”
In the Melbourne Herald Sun, Andy Withers wrote: “Choisir blazed the trail for Australia in winning the King's Stand Stakes and the Group I Golden Jubilee Stakes in scintillating fashion at the 2003 Royal festival, but Takeover Target's effort in giving weight and a beating to 27 rivals today, while not as dominant in terms of winning margin, was arguably more impressive.”
The Melbourne Age focused on the romantic nature of the win. “The victory was an emotional one for Janiak, the Queanbeyan cabbie who had been a hobby trainer for 30 years, living out of a caravan and supplementing his income working in a bakery and driving taxis until he found Takeover Target.”
In England, Julian Muscat saw it thus in The Times: “It seems a touch extravagant to build a £200 million stage for a £500 horse, but Takeover Target’s triumph at Ascot yesterday bequeathed a fairytale baptism to the revamped royal racecourse. Dignitaries and royal totems, among them the Queen, were enthralled by an Australian caravan-dweller who saddled his family pet to humble Europe’s best sprinters.”
Chris McGrath, in The Independent noted: “Jay Ford excelled in getting Takeover Target across to the favoured stands rail from stall 17, but instead attributed success to qualities already wearily familiar to any Englishman who ever bowled at Steve Waugh. "This horse will never lie down," he said.
Marcus Armytage, in the Daily Telegraph, wrote: “Takeover Target, the £500 horse bought and trained by a caravan-living, Canberra-based taxi driver, Joe Janiak, made his 10,600-mile journey from Australia pay in no uncertain terms yesterday when winning the King's Stand Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot.”
Global Sprint Challenge series leader, Takeover Target (Joe Janiak), is one of three Australian entries for the Golden Jubilee Stakes on Saturday 24th June. The winner of leg one of the 2006 series, the Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February, is chasing the US$1,000,000 bonus on offer for winning a Group One challenge leg in three out of four participating countries.
Also chasing the bonus could be Glamour Puss (Danny O'Brien), and Falkirk, representing the Makybe Diva yard of Lee Freedman. All three are doubly engaged in the King's Stand Stakes.
Hong Kong is represented at the initial entry stage by the 2005 Global Sprint Challenge champion, Cape Of Good Hope (David Oughton), and the world's highest rated sprinter, Silent Witness (Tony Cruz).
Japan could be represented by Symboli Gran (Yoshihiro Hatakeyama), who was 2½ lengths sixth in the Group One Takamatsunomiya Kinen in March. There is a further Royal Ascot entry for Japan in the shape of Deep Impact (Yasuo Ikee) in the Prince of Wales's Stakes on Wednesday 21st June.
A four length winner of the Group One Tenno Sho at the weekend, Deep Impact won the Japanese Triple Crown last year has been beaten just once in ten starts, when second to Heart's Cry in the Arima Kinen on Christmas Day. Since then, Heart's Cry, the Japan Cup runner-up, has gone on to land the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Dubai World Cup Day winners Electrocutionist (Saeed Bin Suroor) and David Junior (Brian Meehan) head the domestic entries for the Prince of Wales's Stakes, for which France have four entries, including Sunday's Prix Ganay winner Corre Caminos (M. Delzangles).
"Takeover Target, Glamour Puss and Falkirk represent top Group One sprinting form in Australia and the first two have already made shipping and stabling plans," said Nick Smith, Head of Public Relations at Ascot.
"Last year's Golden Jubilee Stakes winner Cape of Good Hope is confirmed on course and we'll follow up with connections of Silent Witness after he's run in the Champions Mile in Hong Kong this weekend.
"Symboli Gran was favourite for his reappearance run in March and ran satisfactorily, so connections are thinking about sending him over. We're talking to Mr Ikee about starting Deep Impact in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, where he would be stepping down six furlongs in trip after his win in the two mile Tenno Sho, but he really is remarkable as all trips seem to come alike. His main target, if he comes to the UK, will probably be the King George, where he looks likely to meet compatriot Heart's Cry, who is the only horse ever to have beaten him."
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