Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Saturday’s Toorak Handicap 2019 shapes-up as the most open edition of the mile showdown in recent history with big odds on offer for the entire field including current equal favourites Night’s Watch, Age Of Chivalry and Princess Jenni.
A capacity line-up of 18 will take to the Caulfield track in this year’s Group 1 $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) including the first emergency, UK raider Chief Ironside ($15) coming in for the scratched Iconoclasm (21) who had drawn the outside alley.
In the latest Toorak Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au three gallopers are installed as the $7 equal favourites with Night’s Watch and Age Of Chivalry drawn alongside each other midfield, while the mare Princess Jenni is out slightly wider.
Chris Waller saddles-up Redwood six-year-old Night’s Watch, the star Sydney horseman chasing his first win in the Toorak.
Kiwi import Night’s Watch is out to break a lengthy drought with the horse’s last win being in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) in September of 2018 ahead of his Caulfield Stakes sixth last Guineas Day.
His spring to date has consisted of two unplaced runs, the latest a ninth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 14.
Night’s Watch drops three kilos to 56kg this weekend in the Toorak with James McDonald to ride and should appreciate the lighter weight giving him the chance to close strongly.
The in-form Age Of Chivalry for Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra gets in on 54.5kg.
Also New Zealand-bred, the four-year-old son of He’s Remarkable won two Caulfield races over 1400m on the trot this August.
He was last seen running well for second to Begood Toya Mother when only 1.25 lengths beaten in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Six of the past seven Toorak Handicap winners came out of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and even going up in weight, the lightly-raced Age Of Chivalry looks the one out of that key form-line to back in the Toorak.
More Joyous (2010) was the last mare to win the Toorak Handicap and this weekend there’s money for the David Brideoake-trained Princess Jenni to be the next.
Damien Oliver retains the ride on the four-year-old daughter of High Chaparral whose last run produced a three-quarter length victory at The Valley in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m).
She has had just the nine starts to date for five wins and a second and is undefeated with an excellent three-from-three record over the mile.
With the bookies having a hard time separating the best in Toorak Handicap betting this spring, the other single-figure hope at $9 is market mover Waging War who is yet to officially gain a start.
The Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained Rebel Raider gelding needs just one further scratching to make the field with the six-year-old having run top three in his four latest runs in easier company.
Waging War has been carrying big weights this prep and if he makes the Toorak Handicap field, will be absolutely flying home with just 52kg in on back.
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