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Takeover Target trainer loves country racing

Thursday, 17th March, 2016

It’s no Takeover Target, but renowned trainer Joe Janiak was happy to mount up with the prized Guinness Gold Harp to promote St Pat’s. It’s no Takeover Target, but renowned trainer Joe Janiak was happy to mount up with the prized Guinness Gold Harp to promote St Pat’s.

By Darrin Manuel

Horse racing has taken Joe Janiak all over the world, but there’s something about St Pat’s races that always lures the famous Queanbeyan trainer back to the Silver City.

Joe has attended Broken Hill’s premier race day on numerous occasions, including in 2013 when he brought his champion sprinter Takeover Target to the city.

The story of Joe and Takeover Target has been etched into Australian folklore, after the former taxi driver bought the horse for just $1250 and nurtured it through a career that would yield over $6 million in prize money.

The gelding won just over half of his 41 races, including starts in the UK, Japan and Singapore, and was crowned Australian Champion Sprinter and World’s Highest Rated Turf Sprinter in 2006.

But even after savouring the dizzying heights of the Takeover Target era, Joe said he still felt most at home amongst the heat and dust of outback racing.

“I just love coming back here. We were travelling around so we thought we’d spend a bit of time here again and have another look around,” he said.

“I just love country racing. I cut my teeth on country racing and I just enjoy it more than metropolitan racing.”

Although he has now retired from training, Joe said he still had a few charges running around.

“I’ve got a few reasonable ones, but nothing half as good as (Takeover Target),” he laughed.

“But we’re still having a bit of fun. There’s a few being trained by other people and they’re doing alright.”

Joe said the recent rain around here was a pleasing sight, and should make for ideal conditions on race day.

“I flew in late from Mildura, and the country looks a lot better than what I’ve seen it before.

“There’s been a nice bit of rain, and that’s good - that’s encouraging.

“And from what I’ve been told, the track is in order, so the racing should be good.”

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