TAKEOVER Target, racing’s accidental hero, has been put down after injuring himself in a paddock accident.

Trainer Joe Janiak confirmed the passing of his 15-year-old champion sprinter this morning.

Takeover Target had spent his retirement on Janiak’s Coffs Harbour property after a magnificent race career where he won 21 of his 41 races, eight at Group 1 level and earned just over $6 million in stakes.

He won in every state capital city — the first horse to do so since Dark Ksar more than 25 years ago — and he also won major races in England, Japan and Singapore.

And all this from a gelding that was purchased for $1400 as an unraced four-year-old with career-threatening leg injuries by an unknown Queanbeyan taxi driver and part-time racehorse trainer.

Takeover Target was a life-changer for Janiak. A wily Janiak got the horse fit and ready to race and the gelding reeled off seven successive wins to start his race career.

Takeover Target quickly developed into one of the nation’s leading sprinters and certainly the most popular racehorse with Australian race fans who were entranced by the battler-come-good story of horse and trainer.