Connections of Takeover Target are awaiting the results of another blood test taken on the seven-year-old ahead of Sunday’s Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin.
Routine samples taken from the Australian sprinter showed an “irregularity” but trainer Joe Janiak is hoping the latest batch of tests taken on Friday morning will clear his horse to run.
Janiak has confirmed that he treated Takeover Target with a drug in Japan seven weeks ago, adding that he had been advised the substance would be out of the horse’s system within two weeks.
He said: “Apparently there is a clot and he can’t get rid of it.”
Jamie Stier, chief steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, confirmed that swab samples taken from Takeover Target since he arrived from Japan three weeks ago had shown a possible drug irregularity.
He said: “Further samples will be taken for testing between now and Sunday.”
Should Takeover Target be ruled out, he would miss the opportunity of bidding for a near £800,000 (€1.2m) bonus on offer for the Global Sprint Challenge.
Janiak’s charge has already won three legs of the competition, taking the Lightning Stakes at Flemington and the Sprinter’s Stakes in Japan to add to his Royal Ascot triumph.