2017 Toorak Handicap – Preview and Tips
Toorak Handicap, Caulfield Tips 1600m
It’s a time honoured race, that’s been on the Caulfield Guineas Race Day Card for years. Some good horses have won the Toorak Handicap over the years. Who will it be in 2017?
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It’s another big field lining up in the Toorak. Here’s how they assemble on Saturday:
Toorak Handicap, 1600m, Saturday 14 Oct 2017
1 TOSEN STARDOM, D Weir, D Lane, 16, 57.5kg, $13.00
2 KASPERSKY, J Chapple-Hyam, L Nolen, 3, 56kg, $26.00
3 SEABURGE, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, M Zahra, 12, 55kg, $51.00
4 TOM MELBOURNE, C Waller, G Boss, 15, 55kg, $7.50
5 HE OR SHE, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, D Dunn, 18, 54.5kg, $81.00
6 I AM A STAR, S Nichols, B Melham, 14, 54.5kg, $13.00
7 TURNITAROUND, M Williams, B Thompson, 2, 54.5kg, $51.00
8 COMIN’ THROUGH, C Waller, M Walker, 4, 53.5kg, $10.00
9 EGG TART, C Waller, D Oliver, 9, 53.5kg, $5.00
10 MR SNEAKY, A Freedman, D Yendall, 8, 52.5kg, $8.50
11 OMEI SWORD, C Waller, S Baster, 5, 52kg, $12.00
12 SNITZSON, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, C Parish, 10, 52kg, $17.00
13 SO SI BON, R Laing, C Newitt, 19, 52kg, $14.00
14 SOVEREIGN NATION, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, B Mertens, 17, 52kg, 18.00
15 THEANSWERMYFRIEND, R Smerdon, M Dee, 6, 52kg, $8.00
16 PETROLOGY, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, C Parnham, 13, 52kg, $91.00
17 JACQUINOT BAY, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, B Allen, 11, 52kg, $51.00
18 WYNDSPELLE, M Kent, N Beriman, 7, 52kg, $31.00
19e MASK OF TIME, H Palmer, D Moor, 1, 52kg, $51.00
The Lindsay Park operation has six runners here. They won it last year with He’s Our Rokki, and by sheer weight of numbers, you’d expect them to get close again. However, four of them are at long odds (Petrology, Jacquinot Bay, He Or She, and Seaburge) so don’t count on them so much. Snitzson and Sovereign Nation are at shorter odds, but still, there is half the field in front of them at even shorter odds! Of the six, Snitzson is probably the best bet.
Chris Waller brings four runners into the Toorak, and all of them are worth considering. Tom Melbourne is an honest type, and his run for second in the Epsom Handicap earns him some respect. He’s considered a one-pace type horse, though his final sectional in the Epsom was very good. Maybe he’s not the one-dimensional galloper we all thought he was? $7.50
Race favourite is likely to be Egg Tart, who was a late scratching from the Epsom, but returns here and is ready to pounce. She’s a dual Group 1 winning mare, with the 2017 Queensland Oaks and Schweppes (South Australian) Oaks already in her trophy cabinet. I think she’ll be all over this field like a rash, and only an act of God will prevent her from picking up her third Group 1 title. Anchor bet. $5.00
Comin’ Through is the third Waller runner. I think he’s a decent galloper up to a mile, and that’s where it stops. He’s by Fastnet Rock, so you’d think a sprinter/miler is his game, and I’d agree. From the same ownership as the great Criterion (owned by Sir Owen Glenn), and if there was one horse who defied his Sebring breeding, it was Criterion (third in a Melbourne Cup). Can Comin’ Through follow in his wake? Hmm.. $10.00
Mr Sneaky‘s run for second in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes two weeks back was an eye-catcher. If it wasn’t for the fast finishing Santa Ana Lane, he could have snuck a Group 1 for himself. On that run alone, deserves respect. He has Santa Ana Lane’s rider Dean Yendall aboard for the trip. Punters won’t let him get away this time, so expect him to be under $10 in the win market by race-time. $8.50
Mr Sneaky’s great local rival Theanswermyfriend raced on the pace in the Rupert Clarke, and that proved his undoing, ultimately finishing fifth. I doubt he will have lost any friends after that race, and his SP would indicate that, kicking off at $8.00.
One horse that is flying under the radar is I Am A Star. A Group 1 winner over the distance, she took out the Myer Classic for fillies and mares on VRC Derby Day last year. She’s also a last start winner of the Stocks Stakes on Moir Stakes Night a few weeks back, so she appears to be a well-oiled machine that is ready to hit the road. My smokey of the race. $13.00.
We shouldn’t forget Darren Weir’s former Japanese galloper Tosen Stardom. I thought his run in the Rupert Clarke showed potential, coming home from the back. His win/pace strike rate isn’t that good, and he would need to be doing great things while conceding weight (like 4kgs to Egg Tart) and coming from a wide draw – to be seriously considered for this. $13.00.
The most interesting runner is Jane Chapple-Hyam’s European galloper Kaspersky. His pet distance appears to be the mile, and he’s raced in Britain, Germany, and Italy. Michelle Payne even rode him in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (Ascot) back in June. He’s not won at Group 1 level yet but has picked up two Group 2’s and two Group 3’s. He’s nominated for the WS Cox Plate, but I think that wouldn’t be a wise investment for connections. Be interested to see how he goes regardless. $26.00.
Egg Tart $5.00
Egg Tart, I Am A Star, Mr Sneaky
Toorak Handicap – check the odds on William Hill