Ford back on target

AUSTRALIAN racing hero Takeover Target is getting ready to kick off what could be his last campaign in next month's Group One TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick and his good mate and regular jockey Jay Ford will be with him all the way.

Ford said he will travel to Takeover Target's base at Coffs Harbour in the next couple of weeks to ride the champion in trackwork.

“It's always great hooking up with him and I'll be up heading up there as his work gradually builds towards the TJ Smith,” Ford said.

The Joe Janiak-trained nine-year-old landed win number 19 last start in the Group Three Scahill Stakes in Perth in a performance which took his earnings past $5.5 million from 35 starts.

Takeover Target will defend his KrisFlyer Sprint crown in Singapore in May before returning to England for his fourth campaign at Royal Ascot.

“Joe is very happy with the horse, he's put on his usual bit of condition and he will do his usual thing and just go about his work professionally and be ready for his return,” Ford said.

Takeover Target has won races in Japan, Singapore and England as well as Australia with Ford aboard for all but one of his starts.

Meanwhile, Delago Bolt stormed into Golden Slipper calculations yesterday when he gave trainer Gary Portelli his third Black Opal Stakes victory in Canberra yesterday.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Portelli who admitted after the race he thought Delago Bolt was in trouble after missing the start badly in yesterday's 1200 metre feature.

“He's so laid back this horse it's unbelievable and I thought he might have blown it today but he settled nicely somehow and travelled beautifully in the run,” Portelli said.

“I said before the race that he would have to win well to go to the Slipper and he won well and now we're off to the Slipper.”

TAB Sportsbet now has Delago Bolt at $15 for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper on April 4.

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