Guest Of Honour Leads Toorak Handicap Field 2014

This Saturday in Melbourne four Group 1 races will headline Caulfield Guineas Day including the 2014 Toorak Handicap featuring the Australian debut of Marco Botti’s European raider Guest Of Honour.

Arabian Gold

Arabian Gold is the shortest priced Cox Plate hope running in Saturday's 2014 Toorak Handicap. Photo: Daniel Costello.

A field of 15 gallopers is engaged for this year’s $400,000 Group 1 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m), the mile showdown running as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:30pm.

Top weight of the final acceptors with 58kg is the Botti-trained Cape Cross stallion Guest Of Honour drawn in gate five with Damien Oliver to ride.

The six-year-old won his latest two starts back home in England including the Group 2 Summer Mile over this distance at Ascot on July 12.

He heads towards a run in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25, his Toorak performance to go a long way in determining his price for the weight-for-age clash through Ladbrokes.com.au.

Guest Of Honour pays $41 in the updated Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes following Tuesday’s third acceptances, a number of other hopes for the Moonee Valley showdown racing in the Toorak.

The shortest priced Cox Plate hope in Saturday’s field is Arabian Gold ($21) for David Vandyke.

Drawn wide in barrier 13 for jockey Craig Williams on the weekend, Arabian Gold has won four of her past five starts including her first-up victory over Catkins in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) in Sydney on September 27.

She’s had one previous run at Caulfield, which she won, and is also a two time winner over the distance but has winning form up to 2000m and was runner-up to Tinto in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) over further during the winter.

Also Cox Plate bound and racing in the Toorak Handicap is Commanding Jewel ($34), Leon & Troy Corstens’ Group 1 winning daughter of Commands set to jump from gate 10 with Corey Brown aboard.

Browne replaces Oliver who has ridden the now five-year-old for her three runs this time in that included a successful title defense in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13 and a third behind Dear Demi in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes over the Moonee Valley mile last time out.

Also coming off a win like Arabian Gold meanwhile is the in-form Darren Weir-trained Trust In A Gust who has won three from four this time in.

Drawn one outside of Commanding Jewel in gate 11 with Brad Rawiller to ride, the Keep The Faith four-year-old became a Group 1 winner on September 28 at Caulfield with a nice win over Dissident in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).

A Caulfield specialist, Trust In A Gust has won three of his five starts at the track and at his only previous look at a mile he was second to Worth A Ransom at Flemington back in April.

The other notable Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes runner backing up in the Toorak on Saturday is the Chris Waller-trained Bull Point.

The four-year-old has an ace barrier two draw on Saturday with Jim Cassidy booked, Cassidy aboard when the son of Fastnet Rock carried just 52kg to run third to Trust In A Gust in the Sir Rupert.

On Saturday Bull Point goes up 2.5kg to 54.5kg while Trust In A Gust has to handle a 4.5kg increase from 52kg to 56.5kg.

Other Toorak hopes coming off nice lead-up runs include Stocks Stakes runner-up Solicit in barrier 14 this weekend and the John Bary-trained New Zealand visitor Recite with the outside draw to overcome who is Group 1 placed back home.

See below for the full Toorak Handicap 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.

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2014 Toorak Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw

Caulfield Race 7 (4:30pm) – 11/10/2014

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 x397x4x11x GUEST OF HONOUR (IRE) Marco Botti Damien Oliver 5 58kg 108
2 3x62720x40 SPEEDINESS Colin Scott Hugh Bowman 3 57.5kg 107
3 231x61x313 COMMANDING JEWEL Leon & Troy Corstens Corey Brown 10 56.5kg 109
4 11262×1211 TRUST IN A GUST Darren Weir Brad Rawiller 11 56.5kg 105
5 11x2608x18 ATLANTE Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Kerrin McEvoy 8 54.5kg 101
6 3x1407x323 BULL POINT Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 2 54.5kg 101
7 x5801112x1 ARABIAN GOLD David Vandyke Craig Williams 13 54kg 104
8 3x11429x72 SOLICIT Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra Craig Newitt 14 53.5kg 103
9 x241128x03 RECITE (NZ) John Bary Stephen Baster 15 53kg 101
10 1x11211x67 AKAVOROUN Ciaron Maher Ms Michelle Payne 12 53kg 98
11 59x395x116 LATE CHARGE Wendy Kelly Glen Boss 7 53kg 98
12 7x68011x59 RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ) Michael Moroney Dwayne Dunn 9 53kg 98
13 x840927x46 ESCADO Matt Laurie 4 53kg 95
14 553458×563 DESERT JEUNEY Nigel Blackiston James Winks 1 53kg 92
15 1861317122 TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ) Robbie Laing Darren Gauci 6 53kg 82

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