The rags to riches story of taxi driver, Joe Janiak, and his champion sprinter, Takeover Target, has already become an Australian sporting legend.


TRAINER: Joe Janiak

OWNERS: Joe Janiak, Ben Janiak

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 41 starts:21 wins,6 seconds, 4 thirds/$6,028,311

Major Wins 

  • Turnbull Stakes
  • Lightning Stakes
  • Newmarket Handicap
  • Doomben 10,000
  • KrisFlyer International Sprint
  • T J Smith Stakes
  • The Goodwood


Takeover Target was purchased as a yearling for $1,250 by Queanbeyan taxi driver and part-time horse trainer, Joe Janiak. As a youngster Takeover Target was ruled out of racing for thirty months due to leg and joint injuries, and he did not make his debut until he was a four-year-old. His trainer's care and patience were rewarded when Takeover Target won his first seven races including the Group 1 VRC Salinger Stakes at Flemington in October, 2004.

The highpoint of Takeover Target's career came in 2006 when he won the Group 1 VRC Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap, which resulted in his being invited to compete in the UK at the Royal Ascot meeting in June. There he won the Group 2 (now Group 1) King's Stand Stakes and ran third in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes. From England he travelled to Japan where he defeated a high class international field in the Group 1 Sprinters' Stakes. As a result of his performances in England Takeover Target was classified as the best sprinting horse in the world on turf.

In 2007 Takeover Target added the BTC Doomben 10,000 to his list of trophies, and in 2008 he further enhanced his international standing by winning the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore. Two more Australian Group 1s fell to him in 2009 - the AJC T.J. Smith Handicap and the SAJC The Goodwood.

Takeover Target's final appearance came in 2009 during his fourth visit to England when he broke down in the July Cup at Newmarket and had to be retired. His 41 starts had produced 21 wins and 10 placings, with his nine Group 1 wins spread over four countries.

Takeover Target was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.