Tokamak Earns Respect with 2013 Strawberry Road Handicap Win

From ‘lunatic’ horse to Stradbroke Handicap Day winner, the Barry Lockwood-trained Tokamak stepped up to the plate today and proved they are thriving in the sunshine state with another stakes win this time in the $80,000 Listed XXXX Gold Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m).


Tokamak enjoyed a win in the Strawberry Road Handicap 2013 on Stradbroke Day. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Diogenes five-year-old has always shown ability and been consistent on the race track winning eight of their 22 starts before their latest run, but has been a bit of a handful for the now Eagle Farm-based Lockwood.

Not giving up on the galloper however Lockwood left them to settle in their own time, which took around three months according to their patient trainer, and since then the horse has been a genuine contender in the majority of their races.

“He’s quite easy, for a lunatic horse early days he’s absolutely beautiful now,” Lockwood said after today’s victory.

“Since he’s come up here he’s just thrived.”

They first broke their black type maiden status at Eagle Farm in early March with a two and a half length effort in the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Club (1600m) in the wet and came close last start when second to Fire Up Fifi in the Listed Spear Chief Handicap (1500m) last Saturday.

A tough horse, Tokamak handled the short seven day back up without issue for Straddie Day and did everything right to add the Strawberry Road Handicap win to their name.

The eventual winner had all the stars aligned for the run too with a beautiful barrier three draw and jockey Paul Hammersley riding them to perfection.

One of the horses that left their run late when the frontrunners started to fade over the final 200 metres, Tokamak got home first for a comfortable win holding off a luckless and fast finishing Kelso Wood-trained Someday.

Taking nothing away from the winner the run of Someday’s was probably the best on the day as they gave them a huge start, and made up lots of ground after sitting three deep at the back of the field but still running past them down the outside to snare second.

Finishing off the winning trifecta in the second at Eagle Farm was then the well backed favourite Transporter for John Thompson who made a run with 300m to go but who finished a little flat.

Hammersley was pleased with the performance of the horse and is hoping they can develop into a contender for the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) this time next winter.

“He’s learning, he’s getting better,” Hammersley said.

“Barry’s always had a high opinion of him.

“Be nice to be back next year (with him).”

As for where to next Lockwood suggested the $100,000 Listed Tattersall’s Racing Club Open Mile (1600m) back at Eagle Farm in a fortnight could be a nice option or a trip up north for the Rockhampton Cup on the same day.

“There’s a Tattersall’s Mile here in a fortnight or the Rockhampton Cup on the same day,” he said.

“If it’s the same sort of horses running here then he can stay home.”

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2013 Strawberry Road Handicap Results & Finishing Order

Eagle Farm Race 2 – 06/08/2013

Finish # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 9 TOKAMAK Barry Lockwood Paul Hammersley 3 54.5kg $10
2 12 SOMEDAY Kelso Wood Chris Munce 0.4L 8 54kg $4.40
3 3 TRANSPORTER John P Thompson Michael Cahill 1.2L 4 57.5kg $3.40F
4 6 DIADEME (NZ) Murray Baker Christian Reith 1.4L 7 55.5kg $7.50
5 4 JETSET LAD (NZ) John Wheeler Jonathan Riddell 1.5L 12 57kg $13
6 5 LISTEN SON Tony Gollan Hugh Bowman 1.6L 11 56kg $12
7 13 PELLEGRINI (NZ) Robert Heathcote Glen Colless 1.9L 10 54kg $21
8 8 THUMBTACKS (NZ) Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 2.2L 5 55.5kg $12
9 1 IBICENCO (GER) Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 2.6L 2 59kg $15
10 15 VENTURE ON Brian Smith Timothy Bell 2.7L 1 54kg $21
11 2 GREEN BIRDIE (NZ) Darlene Duryea Patrick Holmes 2.8L 9 57.5kg $61
12 16 SHOW AFFECTION Robert Heathcote Ryan Wiggins 4.1L 14 54kg $51
13 14 WHITESAILS Brett Dodson Matthew Bennett 4.6L 13 54kg $51
14 7 JUSTANEXCUSE (NZ) Lisa Latta Leith Innes 5.1L 15 55.5kg $51
15 10 PEPPERWOOD Liam Birchley Larry Cassidy 5.6L 6 54kg $61
11 CARRICK (NZ) Tony Pike Mark Du Plessis 0