takeover targetTakeover Target (Paul Harris)A piece of good news has fallen the way of Australia’s international sprint star Takeover Target with the decision that the world’s No.1 sprinter Sacred Kingdom won’t be running at the Royal meeting at Ascot.

Takeover Target heads overseas next month for a third appearance at the Royal meeting with a stop in Singapore on the way. He is one of a possible six Australian runners at the five-day meeting. It is almost certain that New Zealand’s top mare Seachange will also run at the meeting.

Sacred Kingdom had been the early favourite with British bookmakers to win the Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes. But Ascot spokesman Nick Smith said the chances appeared slim that he would make the trip. “I think Sacred Kingdom will be nominated for the Golden Jubilee but I have to say there’s maybe a 30 per cent chance of them coming as their focus is domestic.

“They have a domestic focus in Hong Kong and there is a lot of pressure for their horses to run in their best races, so they pick other targets very, very sparingly,” he added. “They want him at the top of his game for Hong Kong in December, so there is work to be done – but we haven’t given up, and next year I would be confident he will run.”

Other Australian runners being targeted by Royal Ascot are Casino Prince, Cefalu, Magnus, Miss Andretti and Universal Ruler.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News