One of two hopes for last year’s winning trainer Darren Weir, Stratum Star is a headline acceptor in the capacity Toorak Handicap 2015 field for Caulfield Guineas Day this weekend in Melbourne.
Running as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:30pm (AEST) on Saturday afternoon, this year’s $400,000 Group 1 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) has attracted a full 18 starters including two for Weir who took out the mile classic 12 months ago with Trust In A Gust (2014).
This year Weir returns after more success with his William Reid Stakes winning Husson gelding Lucky Hussler and Stratum Star drawn well in barriers four and two, who are also the two top-weighted runners carrying 58kg and 57kg respectively.
Dual Toorak Handicap winning hoop Glen Boss – who won aboard Show A Heart (2001) and Shot Of Thunder (2002) – stays on Lucky Hussler with the galloper looking to improve on his last start sixth when beaten under two lengths in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 26.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Stratum Star is also backing up in the Toorak, the ultra-consistent Stratum four-year-old looking for back-to-back Group 1 wins at Caulfield where he also ran a nice third to Boban in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) in late August.
He jumps from barrier two on Saturday, which hasn’t produced a Toorak Handicap winner since Sober Suit (1995) 20 years ago, his Sir Rupert Clarke winning hoop Craig Williams retaining the ride this weekend.
The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes is the traditional Toorak Handicap lead-up having produced the past three winners on the trot including Trust In A Gust who completed the double last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The next best over the line in this year’s Sir Rupert backing up in the Toorak is the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained runner-up Disposition (55kg).
Formerly prepared in Perth, the Reset four-year-old has had four Caulfield runs since the start of the year including his close second when only just nosed out of the Group 1 in the Sir Rupert.
Along with Stratum Star the only other last start winner in the Toorak Handicap line-up on the weekend is the Peter Moody-trained Kenjorwood (55kg) drawn in gate nine.
A winner of two of his past four runs, the Snippetson six-year-old comes off a non-black type win over 1700m at Caulfield on Sir Rupert Day and is back up in class having won two of his three previous runs at the track.
Barrier 11 has produced two of the past four Toorak Handicap winners with King Mufhasa (2011) and Trust In A Gust (2014) and this year the gun gate belongs to another of Moody’s runners Abidewithme (52kg) to be ridden by apprentice Patrick Moloney on the minimum weight that was last carried to victory by Solzhenitsyn (2012) for his first of two wins.
A six-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice, Abidewithme was beaten only two lengths as a $26 roughie in the Sir Rupert Clarke when jumping from barrier 17 of 18.
Moody, who is yet to train a Toorak winner, also has Hi World (54.5kg) in gate 13 on the weekend.
Following Weir’s duo the other heaviest weighted Toorak hopes in 2015 are Leebaz (56kg) for Team Hawkes who has a solid mile record (6-3-1-0) and the Chris Waller-trained Strawberry Boy (56kg) drawn out wide in gate 16 on the back of his brave fourth in the Sir Rupert Clarke.
Strawberry Boy has the unfavourable barrier to overcome this weekend, but was defeated under a length in the Group 1 lead-up and is a gun at the 1600m boasting four wins and a third from six previous attempts at the distance.
Waller has also accepted for two other widely-drawn chances with his recent Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) winning mare Amicus (17) out to atone for her 16th (of 18 runners) in the Sir Rupert Clarke and Flamingo Star (14) who comes off a Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) fourth at Rosehill from last September.
Check out the full Toorak Handicap 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below then visit our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au who will match your first deposit dollar for dollar up to a juicy $700 when you quote the limited time only promo code SPRINGBONUS!
2015 Toorak Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 7 (4:30pm) – 10/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||212x167x46||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||4||58kg||109|
|2||2x2332x731||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||2||57kg||107|
|3||x630210x09||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Winks||12||56kg||105|
|4||32x5611x44||STRAWBERRY BOY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||16||56kg||105|
|5||x127202x36||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Blake Shinn||5||55.5kg||104|
|6||7318040×00||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Ben Melham||3||55.5kg||104|
|7||1122x24x12||DISPOSITION||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||7||55kg||103|
|8||x331231441||KENJORWOOD||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||9||55kg||103|
|9||x94460x110||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||17||54.5kg||106|
|10||411x82x094||FLAMINGO STAR (GER)||Chris Waller||TBA||14||54.5kg||102|
|11||4x2111x507||HI WORLD||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||13||54.5kg||102|
|12||14x12358x0||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Glen Colless||1||54kg||101|
|13||1324x113x0||NOBLE PROTECTOR (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Michael Walker||6||54kg||105|
|14||112789×272||JACQUINOT BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Chris Parnham||18||53.5kg||100|
|15||4004361×18||ABIDEWITHME (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Patrick Moloney (a)||11||52kg||99|
|16||745x458x29||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Luke Currie||15||52kg||97|
|17||1x59504x97||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Daniel Moor||10||52kg||96|
|18||10x045x933||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||Mick Price||Michael Dee (a)||8||52kg||92|