Takeover Target a star attraction
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
GO TO the races this afternoon for Coffs Harbour's twilight TAB meet and you'll get the chance to see a Group One champion go for an exhibition gallop in preparation for a summer raid in Brisbane.
Queanbeyan based trainer Joe Janiak and his star charge Takeover Target are currently in Coffs Harbour preparing for next weekend's Group Three Summer Stakes at Doomben.
"If he goes allright there we'll come back and then there's another race a fortnight later over 1350m, it's all part of the series," the trainer said.
"We'll probably be here until Christmas anyway."
Janiak plans only a light summer campaign for Takeover Target in Brisbane as he wants to keep his prize gelding fresh for a return to Melbourne in the autumn for an assault on the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.
Once his Melbourne campaign is over, both trainer and horse will become locals as Janiak has bought a new stable complex at the Coffs Harbour track and is moving his whole operation up from Canberra lock, stock and barrel.
"I just like the climate up here, I've been wanting to move up here for a while now," he said.
"With my medication for my knee, in the warmer climate I don't have to take as much medication and I don't feel the pain as much so I thought I might as well make a move up here as it's better for me.
"The horse has had a history of knee problems as well and I reckon I might be able to get a few more races more out of him being able to work him on the beach up here so it's better for him as well."
Takeover Target and Janiak are no strangers to the area having set up a base here prior to this year's Winter Carnival in Brisbane and in 2004 Takeover Target took the Grafton track by storm when he won the Ramornie Handicap.
Wearing shorts and thongs before an early morning fishing expedition is a fair hint that the North Coast climate is something that Janiak has very quickly become accustomed to.
"I was up here at winter time and I was getting around like this," he said pointing to laid back dress style.
"All the locals are rugged up like we are back home, it's amazing how you acclimatise isn't it?
"Next winter I'll probably be the same as them."
Come next winter it won't matter what he's wearing.
With probably half a dozen horses in work, it won't be long before a Janiak trained galloper crosses the line first on his new home track.