x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Taken ill, Takeover Target to miss Golden Jubilee Stakes

Australian sprinter, Takeover Target, one of the star attractions at Royal Ascot in recent years, has been withdrawn from today's Golden Jubilee Stakes with a high temperature.

ASCOT // Australian sprinter, Takeover Target, one of the star attractions at Royal Ascot in recent years, has been withdrawn from today's Golden Jubilee Stakes with a high temperature. The gelding, who will shortly turn 10 years old, is said by his trainer, Joe Janiak, to be out of sorts. "He is not himself and his temperature is above normal. It's a shame he'll not be at Ascot but we'll wrap him up and prepare him for the July Cup at Newmarket," the handler said.

Takeover Target, who lays claim to being one of the best-travelled horses in recent times, has been a regular at the Queen's meet and for the last three years contesting the King's Stand Stakes at the start of the meet and the Golden Jubilee Stakes on the closing day. He won the King's Stand in 2006 and has never been out of the first four. But the popular and normally consistent warhorse finished a disappointing eighth in last month's Singapore Group One Krisflyer Sprint - his biggest international defeat. His jockey, Jay Ford, voiced concerns about the gelding's performance.

"He never seemed to travel well underneath me," he said after seeing Golden Jubilee rival Sacred Kingdom flash by for the victory. "I was pushing him along and he raced one-paced to the line - it was not like him at all." More positive is the form of Mike de Kock's sprinter, JJ The Jet Plane who has pleased connections since an under-par performance on dirt at Nad al Sheba in the spring. Back on turf he rallied to win the Group Three Al Quoz Sprint before being shipped to England and triumphing again in a race that could have been named for him, the Up Up and Away Listed Stakes at Windsor. JJ The Jet Plane has nothing to prove in South Africa but the favourite faces a stern test today.

In a strong field he must beat Hong Kong's Ricky Yiu-trained Sacred Kingdom, who came back from injury to win in Singapore, and last year's Buckingham Palace Stakes victor, Regal Parade. Godolphin's Diabolical will have chance as the runner-up in the 2008 Breeders Cup Turf has not finished worse than third since September. Godolphin also saddle Campanologist, in today's Group Two Hardwicke Stakes.

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