Takeover Target Withdrawn from Hong Kong Cup

Stewards have revealed that the drug in Takeover Target, who was ordered scratched from the HK$20 million Hong Kong Cup, contained 17 parts alpha-hydroxyprogesterone hexonate. This showed up the day the horse arrived in Hong Kong from Japan in early November and again in four subsequent checks prior to race day.

Further blood samples were taken from Takeover Target on Nov. 14 and 29, and Dec. 5 and 8. On each occasion Dr. T.S. Wan, head of the racing laboratory in Hong Kong advised the stewards that the substance remained in the horse's bloodstream. Each positive test result was passed on to Joe Janiak, the Australian trainer.

In accordance with the rules of Hong Kong racing, a horse presented on race day with 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone hexanoate must be withdrawn. And so he was, after yet again his blood had traces of this banned substance when tested on race morning.

An inquiry into the analyst's findings has now been adjourned to a date to be fixed.