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Wednesday’s Wangoom Handicap may seem like a strange place to find a possible Group 1 winner but that’s exactly the race Leon Corstens is running his 2013 Stradbroke Handicap hopeful Tokugawa.
Resuming off a five month spell, before which they were in exciting form during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, five-year-old Choisir gelding Tokugawa is one of the top fancies for today’s $150,000 Listed Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap (1200m).
The smart sprinter pays $6 in the current Wangoom Handicap odds, their performance here to help Corstens discover whether they are worthy of a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Lightly raced with just a dozen starts on their card so far Tokugawa has won four of those runs most recently over 1514m at Moonee Valley by 3.5 lengths back in September.
That run led them into their maiden Group 1 assignment in the Toorak Handicap over the Caulfield mile where they ran a credible sixth to Solzhenitsyn.
From there they ran fourth to Group 1 winner Silent Achiever in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) before their close third in a 1400m Flemington handicap on Emirates Stakes Day leading into their break.
If they run well fresh today at Warrnambool then it will be onto Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival with the Stradbroke Handicap their grand final, something Corstens is confident can happen.
“He’s going along really well and I’m very pleased with him,” Corstens said.
“He’s got to be there with a definite chance.”
Their main dangers at Warrnambool today are tipped to be progressive Snippetson four-year-old That’s The One ($4.40) and local mare Wealth Princess ($4.60) racing for the first time since her failed effort in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap.
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