Superstar mare More Joyous may have to carry 60kg in the 2012 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on Saturday but she is still the clear favourite.
The eight-time Group 1 winner is $2.00 top elect at bookmaker.com.au to continue her early spring success and claim a second Toorak Handicap after winning in 2010.
Comfortable wins in the Sheraco Stakes and Golden Pendant to begin her spring have the More Than Ready Mare chasing a seventh consecutive victory this weekend after dominating in the autumn.
The six-year-old arrived in Melbourne earlier this week and trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident she can add to her outstanding resume and more than $4.4 million in prizemoney.
“She is the best horse in the race by a long way, she is not badly weighted in my opinion,” Waterhouse said earlier this week.
“She has got to roll the sleeves up at some stage and this is the perfect race to roll them up in.”
The market suggests there are two major challengers to More Joyous this weekend, with Queensland gelding Solzhenitsyn ($4.80) and 2011 winner King Mufhasa ($7.50) both heading into the race in good form.
Solzhenitsyn showed he was up to class in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in his first Melbourne test when he ran home strongly to take third place.
King Mufhasa, a winner of 10 Group 1 races including two in Australia, arrives on the back of a convincing win in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
Other horses contesting the Toorak Handicap include 2011 Mackinnon Stakes winner Glass Harmonium ($11.00), multiple Group 1 winner Yosei ($14.00), the Leon Corstens-trained Tokugawa ($14.00) and Aaron Purcell’s consistent mare Spirit Song ($16.00).
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