Takeover Target, the veteran Australian sprinter who was retired last year, is on the verge of a sensational comeback.
Now an 11-year-old, he was last seen finishing seventh in the July Cup at Newmarket behind Fleeting Spirit.
His trainer Joe Janiak has revealed that the gelding has made a complete recovery from the cannon bone injury he picked up in that race and he has already been up to three-quarter speed at home.
Speaking to Sky Sports Radio, Janiak said: “I’ve had him X-rayed and got vet reports on him and he’s probably stronger on that leg than he ever was.
“The way the horse is going and the way he’s feeling, if he shows me he wants to keep going, I’ll keep going.
“If there was any doubt whatsoever I wouldn’t even consider it.”
Bought by Janiak for just 1,375, he won in four different countries and was a regular at Royal Ascot, winning the 2006 King’s Stand Stakes, one of 21 career victories.
Since his retirement Takeover Target has been on a farewell tour of his homeland and it was during an appearance on the first day of the Newcastle Jockey Club’s spring carnival that Janiak flagged the possibility of a surprise comeback.
“I’ve had him up to three-quarter pace (at different times),” he added.