Local legend: “Whack a bit more tomato sauce on that carrot stick, please Joe ...” Takeover Target and owner-trainer Joe Janiak are about to go travelling again.
Local legend: “Whack a bit more tomato sauce on that carrot stick, please Joe ...” Takeover Target and owner-trainer Joe Janiak are about to go travelling again. Leigh Jensen

Takeover Target's return a rumour

FANS of super horse Takeover Target have been on tenterhooks since the weekend after a throwaway line in a Brisbane newspaper hinted a racing comeback by ‘Archie’ may be in the wind.

When the question was put to the great one’s constant companion yesterday, owner-trainer Joe Janiak smiled enigmatically and laughed off the rumour.

“I think the speculation will always be around as he looks so good,” he said.

Because the rising 11-year-old is such an intelligent and active animal, Janiak keeps him in obscenely good health at his Coffs Harbour stable, with a varied training program which maintains peak racing condition.

“His track work this morning was enormous ... as good as when he was racing and shows how happy and contented he is,” Janiak added.

“Next week we’re off to Inverell and then he’ll do a tour of a couple of other race meetings, including a visit to Grafton before the carnival gets under way.”

Meanwhile, the ‘Baby Boom affair’ has fired up again, with Queensland Racing stewards putting a ban on the mare while an inquiry into the bone fides of the training and ownership interests is held. Baby Boom, ridden by Coffs Harbour jockey John Keating for new trainer Annie Moir, landed a nationwide plunge at Gold Coast races last week after firming from $4 to start $2.80 favourite.

Previously trained by John Nikolic, the horse’s connections, including jockey Keating, were dragged into an inquiry after the horse was beaten at the Sunshine Coast on January 3, with claims of unusual betting patterns which included bets for the horse to lose.

Keating was later cleared but Nikolic returned his licence in disgust while three punters were warned off Queensland racecourses.

When asked if this latest investigation was sparked by corporate bookmakers who complained about the plunge, QR chief steward Wade Birch refused to comment.

Stunned trainer Annie Moir declined to comment apart from maintaining she was ‘definitely training the horse’.

“I am happy for stewards to conduct the inquiry, I’ve got nothing to hide,” she said.

“It was good to see her finally win ... she has had a few issues and taken a bit of time to get right but she has her fair share of ability.

“I’m just disappointed I can’t race her until it’s all over.”



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