Joe targets Group 1 double
By JOHN COCHRANE
COFFS Harbour is playing host to something of a burgeoning sporting legend this week.
Unbeaten Canberra sprinter Takeover Target spends a few days here in preparation for his return to racing from an injuryenforced spell in next Saturday's 1200m BTC Cup at Doomben.
The Coffs Harbour track is not new surroundings for Takeover Target and his trainer Joe Janiak who based themselves here in July last year when the winner of seven races from seven starts claimed the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton.
Since then Takeover Target has had only one start for Group One glory when he thrashed the country's best sprinters down the 'straight six' in the Sallinger Stakes at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
His ultimate aim this campaign after next Saturday's test is a famous Group 1 double the Doomben 10,000 and then the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Takeover Target arrived in Coffs on Tueday and took a day to get over the trip but Joe is now very happy with the way his horse is eating and working.
He will trial here on Wednesday morning before heading to the Gold Coast to set up base there for the winter carnival.
Jockey Jay Ford , who has ridden Takeover Target in all his wins is making a lightning trip to Coffs for Wednesday's barrier trial after winning his first treble as a senior rider at Canterbury last Wednesday.
There has been much hype about the unbeaten Hong Kong sprinter Silent Witness who is chasing his 17th successive victory this weekend and Takeover Target is building a similar reputation here.
Any suggestion of the two ever meeting, however tantalising it sounds, is dismissed by Joe who says that his flying gelding is not a good traveller and he's more than happy to chase the prizemoney on offer here.
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JUST as major sponsor Greg King of Plantation Fresh thought his day at Coffs races on Monday was going along nicely, Thespian Prince, the gelding he part-owns with trainer and Fitzroy Hotel publican Warren Dean, stormed home to win the Plantation Fresh Cup.
A former Brisbane galloper, Thespian Prince's first start for Dean was a promising second at Coffs behind Umatrick which has subsequently made the form look good and Monday's win came at his third outing for the new stable.
Hopefully some of Greg's outlay as sponsor for the great day's racing was recouped at Thespian Prince's each way odds and the good mates enjoyed a few drinks from their own cup at the Fitz after the races.
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THERE was a bit of a whisper at Coffs on Monday about unraced two year old Max On Top from the Ken Lantry stable and it proved justified despite the newcomer's long odds.
With odds on favourite Lawlini setting a cracking pace in front, Max On Top showed very strong acceleration over the final stages of the 1200m Brown and Hurley Maiden to win convincingly and it looks like the stable has another good one on their hands.
CHRC director Max Burt was one who was told that he should have backed the winner but he shied away from the youngster's name.
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IT'S a hard time of the year to be picking or tipping winners and today I'm looking to three year old Alizes to take out the Skyy Blue Stakes at Cheltenham without any real confidence.