By GREG WHITE
TAKEOVER Target will crash through the million dollar barrier should he win the G1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington next month.
Bought for $1200 as an untried four-year-old and now with prizemoney of $932,100, Joe Janiak's super sprinter is poised to become one of the biggest bargains in Australian turf history.
"He's out there in the paddock right now," Janiak said when tracked down in Queanbeyan by the Coffs Coast Advocate.
"The horse is happy and content.
"We've got no regrets we dodged the hot weather in Brisbane."
From the way he blitzed quality sprinters in both his Queensland wins, Janiak has no doubt the horse has the stamina to win over the metric mile and beyond.
But that doesn't mean he'll ever get his chance over a distance.
"The Bernborough Stakes over 1600 metres was never a possibility," Janiak said.
"Not with the heat and the weight he would get.
"Once we pick out a race for him we stick to it and that pretty well means sprint races."
And where possible, straight courses without corners to save the champ's dicky legs.
Janiak is obviously only half-serious when he reveals what might have tempted him to stay on in Brisbane.
"They used to have a Mercedes as a bonus for winning all three," he said.
"But since they stopped that I dropped the idea."
In truth, a Benz with solid gold hubcaps and a diamond-encrusted steering wheel would not have tempted the owner-trainer who knocked back a cool million for the horse after he turned the G1 Salinger Stakes into a one act affair.
"I don't want to pressure him," Janiak said.
"After the Lightning I'll see how he pulls up and then take a look at what else is on offer.
"Probably, the Newmarket Handicap, as well."
The owner-trainer did mention an "attractive" 1200 metre race at Moonee Valley and a possibly switch to weight-for-age racing in the Futurity Stakes.
But no mention of the Oakleigh Plate, meaning Takeover Target may not get his chance to emulate Placid Ark in winning the autumn sprinting triple crown.
"The horse will tell me what he wants to do," Janiak added.
Janiak will return to Coffs Harbour prior to the Magic Millions Sales on the Gold Coast where he plans to buy quality yearlings for the recently purchased stables.
"I've got half a dozen in the paddock who won't be ready to race till April and my eyes are on some good ones from the sales.
"Around the middle of the year the new venture should be fully operational."