By GREG WHITE
IT was billed as a match race between superstar Takeover Target and Golden Slipper-winner Dance Hero but in the end it was no contest.
With his gallant old legs steadied by 61kg and giving weight and a three length start on the corner to his younger rival, Takeover Target stormed home to a hero's reception in his comeback to racing at Randwick on Saturday afternoon.
For a while the great sprinter appeared to be struggling but once jockey Jay Ford released the brakes the ultimate result of the $100,000 Arrowfield Stud Sprint (1200m) was never in doubt.
Asked by pressmen if the horse had a big heart, owner-trainer Joe Janiak quipped: "Yeah, and a big arse as well.
"It can't get much better than this, can it?"
It was the great gelding's 15th win from 29 career starts and lifted his earnings to more than $4.4 million.
"The perfect training set-up back home in Coffs means the old bloke could be racing for quite a while yet," Janiak said.
"His legs are standing up great and he could still be racing for another two years until he's a 10-year-old. My old mate will tell me when he's had enough."
Takeover Target will have one more start in Sydney before ending his summer campaign on January 5 in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick where he'll likely meet up with home town stable neighbour, Natural Destiny.