Aussies on Target for July Cup

Takeover Target dismissed rumours that all was not well with the champ when he worked strongly with Scenic Blast over 1000 metres on the July Course at Newmarket on Friday.

The Australian duo are primed to fight out the finish of the G1 July Cup at Newmarket on Friday week, July 10.

Takeover Target, partnered by Jay Ford, led Scenic Blast, ridden by trainer Dan Morton, until they joined forces in the closing stages and were locked together as they passed the winning post.

Takeover Target was forced to bypass the G1 Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot due to running a temperature but trainer Joe Janiak said the veteran sprinter has recovered well.  “He’s on the way back,” Janiak said.  “They didn’t muck about and it was a good solid work out.  If I get the chance, I may come back for another spin next week.”

Morton said Scenic Blast, who is the opening July Cup favourite at 2-1, had pulled up fine after his outstanding G1 triumph in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He picked up really well over the last two furlongs of the work-out.  He goes well fresh, so that’s why we missed the Golden Jubilee to go straight into the July Cup.  He felt the undulations of the track a bit so we could come back and give him some further experience next week.”

Meanwhile, Scenic Blast has been rated the equal best sprinter in the world by the World Thoroughbred Rankings Committee.  The Scenic four-year-old was rated at 122 along with Australian-bred Hong Kong champion Sacred Kingdom.

Scenic Blast’s rating put him ahead of previous King’s Stand winners Choisir (121), Takeover Target (119) and Miss Andretti (120).

Australian-bred Singapore sprinter Rocket Man (121) was next in line followed by Apache Cat and Takeover Target (119).