On Target for another win
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
COFFS Harbour's champion sprinter Takeover Target surprised jockey Jay Ford with his first-up performance at Randwick last start but the hoop knows exactly what to expect when the pair return to the venue tomorrow for the Listed Razor Sharp Quality.
The Joe Janiak-trained flyer made a stunning return from a 23-week spell to defeat multiple Group One winner Dance Hero from the Gai Waterhouse yard on December 1 over tomorrow's distance of 1200 metres.
"He surprised a lot of people that day, including myself and Joe, by running like that first-up, we expected him to go well but probably not that well," Ford said.
"But you don't put anything past this horse, he's just an out-and-out champion.
"There won't be any surprises this time because we know he takes a couple of runs to get going as he showed earlier this year when he beat Gold Edition in the Doomben 10,000, so I know he'll be spot-on for Saturday."
Ford rode Takeover Target in a 1000m gallop at Randwick on Wednesday and liked what he felt.
Takeover Target ran his last 600 metres in 34.8 seconds and ran a quicker overall time than Dance Hero who also worked at Randwick and ran the fastest final 200 metres of the morning of 11 seconds.
"He stretched out well and everything's looking good for Saturday," Ford said.
"I let him do a bit of work up the straight and Joe was very happy with the work and the horse has pulled up a treat."
Ford expects another match race between Takeover Target and Dance Hero to develop with a maximum of just five starters likely for the $100,000 race following the withdrawal of last year's Razor Sharp winner Uber.
Uber's trainer David Payne ruled the six-year-old out after his disappointing eighth to Pasikatera at Rosehill last Saturday.
Takeover Target and Dance Hero were so dominant last time out that Pasikatera was 4-3/4 lengths away in third place.
"It was a good battle between them the other day, it took everything from my bloke to nail Dance Hero and I would expect a similar type of race on the weekend with Dance Hero out in front and us hot on his tail," Ford said.
Takeover Target has the maximum topweight of 61kg in the Razor Sharp while Dance Hero has a half-kilo turnaround in his favour and will carry 57.5kg, but Ford doesn't think weight will enter the equation.
"Our bloke carries weight well and he carried 61kg last start and I think with the extra fitness the half a kilo drop for Dance Hero won't make a difference to the result," he said.