Rob Heathcote’s reigning champ Solzhenitsyn has opened top of the Toorak Handicap 2013 odds to retain their crown in the Caulfield Guineas Day feature in Melbourne this weekend.
Twelve months ago the Brisbane-trained son of St Petersburg handed Queensland’s top trainer Heathcote with just his second ever Group 1 success taking out the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Now Solzhenitsyn returns for a title defense in the mile classic, their only win in the past year being in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) at Doomben in May.
This time in the veteran seven-year-old has been racing competitively and goes into the Toorak third-up.
Their first run of the new season was a second to Riva De Lago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m).
Then last start on September 29 Solzhenitsyn was just a long neck away third in a blanket trifecta for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) behind Rebel Dane (1st) and Fontelina (2nd).
They go up in distance this weekend, which is set to suit, and as such are the $5 favourite in the current Toorak Handicap odds.
Solzhenitsyn however must carry the equal 58kg topweight which is half a kilo more than they had for the Sir Rupert Clarke, and a massive six kilos more than their winning Toorak weight last spring.
It’s a tight Toorak betting battle for the top three, Solzhenitsyn joined by two other single-figure fancies with:
- #6 Speediness ($6.50) – Colin Scott’s Testa Rossa six-year-old in flying form, Scone Cup winner over the mile back in May then resumed to win the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality down the Flemington straight, latest run was a brave fourth in the Rupert Clarke from an awkward gate, Craig Williams is replaced by James McDonald and they again have a poor draw (16 of 17) to overcome but the class to do so over the 1600m
- #1 Linton ($7) – John Sadler’s veteran seven-year-old scored an upset in Brisbane back in June with their Stradbroke Handicap Group 1 trophy, first-up fifth in the Rupert Clarke caught the eye when carrying 58kg which they have again on Saturday second-up
Great value can then be found on the rest of the field all at double figures.
Some of the better fancied hopes out for an upset at a nice price include the Tony McEvoy-trained Rowley Mile winner from the winter Mouro ($10), David Hayes-trained four-year-old Bass Strait ($10) who has been racing competitively including their last start win at Caulfield over the 1700m, French raider Trevieres ($12) in their maiden Aussie run getting in on the minimum, dual Group 1 winner in WA Luckygray ($13) and Australian Guineas winner Ferlax ($14) looking to improve on their Robert Clarke seventh.
See below for the full Toorak Handicap 2013 betting odds which you can lock in now online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Toorak Handicap Odds
Caulfield Race 9 – 4:55pm (AEST) – 12/10/2013
|4||DECEMBER DRAW (14)||21.00|
|9||LORD OF BRAZIL (12)||21.00|
|11||CENTENNIAL PARK (1)||26.00|
|13||DANY THE FOX (13)||31.00|
|14||MUTUAL TRUST (9)||34.00|
|17||BASS STRAIT (11)||10.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change