The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The failed first-up performance from Rick Hore-Lacy’s former top two-year-old Toorak Toff in last Sunday’s The Goodwood at Adelaide has not shelved Brisbane Winter Carnival plans for the promising colt.
Caulfield-based trainer Hore-Lacy has said it is all systems go for the son of Show A Heart to head over to Queensland with the main winter aim being the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Toorak Toff was one of last year’s dominant juveniles winning the Adelaide Magic Millions 2YO Classic as well as the Group 3 The Jansz before running a close fourth to Yosei in the Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes.
He went on to finish a credible seventh, beaten less than two lengths by Skilled, in the 2010 Champagne Stakes before being spelled.
At his return to the track in August last year, Toorak Toff won at Listed level on his home course and then showed off his ability with an elite level victory in the $1 million Golden Rose.
Maintaining that form he went on to place a devastatingly close second to Anacheeva in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude before finishing fourth in the main event in October.
After his summer campaign was cut to just one due to adverse health, Toorak Toff resumed on Sunday in the $350,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
Despite much hype, he could only manage to beat home one other runner when finishing a distant 17th behind Lone Rock in the sprint showdown.
Still, Hore-Lacy saw enough to press on to Queensland with the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 28 and the Stradbroke still on the agenda.
The Goodwood was Toorak Toff’s first run since undergoing an operation for throat and subsequent breathing issues and Hore-Lacy was quick to put the run out of his mind and look to the near future.
“I would just say forget he ran,” Hore-Lacy said.
“It seems to me anything that got back in the race was unable to make ground.
“Quite frankly from an outside gate (14) we had no option but to go back and when you have a look at it, the horse (Eagle Falls) that won the Oakleigh Plate was back there with us turning for home and only beat us a length or so.
“He did blow out with about three parts of furlong to go, but it was his first run for six months.”
Toorak Toff reportedly pulled up well after the race and was only showing positive signs of improvement to come, which he will hopefully display at the sunshine state.
“There wasn’t a sweat mark on him and he’s gone straight to his feed bin,” Hore-Lacy said of Toorak Toff after The Goodwood.
“He is just a perfect horse for travelling and racing and we are full steam ahead now for the Doomben 10,000 in three weeks time.”
After his Goodwood loss, Toorak Toff now sits at $21 in the Doomben 10,000 markets dominated by superstar Black Caviar.
Peter Moody’s undefeated queen of the turf makes her Brisbane debut this weekend, leading out a top field in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben.
Hore-Lacy believes running Toorak Toff up against a once-in-a-lifetime champion like Black Caviar will sharpen him up on way to the Stradbroke and is not deterred by her undeniable brilliance.
“The Stradbroke really looks a nice race for him,” Hore-Lacy said.
“It’s a handicap, 1400m, with the big stretches of Eagle Farm and it will be his third run back in which is ideal.”
Black Caviar is also nominated for the Stradbroke and is an early favourite despite Moody admitting he will likely not accept her for the race.
Toorak Toff is well down the early odds for Queensland’s most lucrative sprint, currently paying $26.
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