2015 Toorak Handicap Target for Petrology

Lindsay Park’s David Hayes has confirmed plans to target the Toorak Handicap 2015 this October with four-year-old Petrology who is scheduled to run in the feature race at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday.


PB Lawrence Stakes hopeful for the weekend Petrology targets the 2015 Toorak Handicap in October this spring. Photo: Sarah Ebbett.

Hayes and co-trainer Tom Dabernig are dually represented in the nominations for this weekend’s $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) with Petrology and recent stable acquisition Dibayani from Hong Kong.

A winner of three of his 13 starts to date, Fastnet Rock stallion Petrology is second-up on Saturday shooting for his first win since the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) in mid-November last year.

During the autumn he had three runs, including a disappointing 12th behind Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in early March.

His resuming run for the spring was on July 25 at Caulfield in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) where he crossed three and a quarter lengths away third behind Group 1 winner Smokin’ Joey.

Petrology is now set to run in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes on the weekend shooting for his maiden win at start number seven at Caulfield before moving onto a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting a number of elite level features.

Hayes confirmed plans for the up-and-comer to run in the season’s first Group 1 race, the $400,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) back at Caulfield on August 29.

His major aim is then the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) over the Caulfield mile on October 10, Caulfield Guineas Day.

“I thought he went pretty good first-up,” Hayes told AAP.

“He got out-sprinted and he’s never been a Group horse at 1200 metres.

“He’s more of a miler and is heading towards the Memsie and the Toorak.”

As for the stable’s Hong Kong import and fellow PB Lawrence Stakes hopeful Dibayani, the six-year-old son of Shamardal was originally set to debut down under last Saturday at Flemington in the Group 1 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).

Hayes however opted to save the gelding another week with the 1400m a more suitable distance for the horse last seen running dead last (14th) behind Military Attack at Sha Tin last October.

“I just thought 1400 metres would be better for him first-up,” he said.

“The straight can sort those horses out as it can be a hard run first-up.

“He’s trialled well and I like him.”

Dibayani will be ridden by Damian Lane on Saturday while Dwayne Dunn is the preferred hoop to replace the suspended Michael Walker aboard Toorak hope Petrology.

“He’s been riding work once a week for us so we’ll be giving him more opportunities,” Hayes said of Lane who returned from Hong Kong recently to win at Flemington on Saturday in his first victory back in Oz.

Other notable P.B. Lawrence Stakes nominees this season include Gai Waterhouse’s returning import Excess Knowledge who won the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) in late March and Wez Hunter’s Bletchingly Stakes winning eight-year-old Smokin’ Joey shooting for a hat-trick of wins.

All the Caulfield race fields are due for release on Wednesday so stay tuned.

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