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Takeover Target Wins Gr1 Lightning Stakes
Bargain-buy of the decade 6YO gelding Takeover Target (Celtic Swing-Shady Stream, by Archregent) continued his sizzling Summer sprint form & made it 3 successive victories by adding a thrilling short-neck win in the $500,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in Melbourne (also 1st leg of the 2006 Global Sprint Challenge). Takeover Target (ridden by Jay Ford for trainer Joe Janiak) defeated boom 3YO colt God's Own (Redoute's Choice-Angel In Disguise, by Sky Chase) & last year's inaugural Global Sprint Challenge winner, HK-based 8YO gelding Cape Of Good Hope (Inchinor-Cape Merino, by Clantime). Takeover Target (a $1,250 jackpot at the 2003 Inglis Winter Thoroughbred Sale) took his record to 10 wins (also including his 2 previous starts in the Listed Doomben Stakes over 1350m on December 24 & a new course record when he blitzed his rivals by 5.5-lengths in the Gr3 Summer Stakes over 1200m at Doomben on December 10, plus an earlier victory in October's Gr1 Salinger Stakes) & 2 placings in 16 starts for $1,234,600 earnings. After the race, excited former Queanbeyan taxi driver-turned-trainer Joe Janiak announced he may campaign Takeover Target at the UK's Royal Ascot carnival in June. Meanwhile winning sire Celtic Swing (the champion European 2YO earned a Timeform rating of 138 before going to stud & shuttling to Collingrove in Victoria from 1997-99, leaving 170 foals over 3 seasons) "is standing at the Irish National Stud this season at €9,000 (A$14,000)" noted thoroughbredinternet.com. The Global Sprint Challenge continues with the Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on February 18, before heading to the UK in June, Japan in September-October & finally Hong Kong in December.