The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
An untapped import from the stables of Michael Moroney heads the 2020 Toorak Handicap betting markets for this weekend in Melbourne with the lightly-raced Buffalo River tipped to defeat field of better experienced milers at Caulfield.
Due to run as the penultimate event on the bumper 10-race Caulfield Guineas Day card on Saturday, the Group 1 $500,000 Lexus Toorak Handicap (1600m) field features 15 runners.
It is the 53kg light weight Buffalo River drawn well in gate five for last year’s winning hoop aboard Fierce Impact (2019) Craig Williams leading the Toorak Handicap odds at $3.90 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
The American-bred Noble Mission gelding has had 11 runs to date for an impressive strike-rate of six wins and four other minor placings, but faces a notable class rise this weekend.
Winner of Flemington’s Silverbowl Final (1600m) back in July, he was disappointing fresh in last year’s $500,000 Silver Eagle (1300m) on this same day in Sydney running dead last (12th) behind The Inevitable.
He returned in the autumn winning back-to-back races at Caulfield and Sandown respectively before his last start second when carrying 59kg over the 1400m at this track on September 26.
Buffalo River presents fit for the Toorak, should relish the step back up to a mile and will be flying coming right down in weight.
The danger occupying the second line of Toorak Handicap betting this spring at $4.80 and firming is another well-weighted hopeful, the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Junipal.
Jumping from gate nine with John Allen aboard, the in-form Reset gelding chases a hat-trick of wins having saluted over the Moonee Valley mile in early September before his runaway Caulfield win last start.
Junipal blitzed his rivals by nearly four lengths over 1700m here from out wide (13 of 14) and should be right up there again this weekend, although he could be looking for further instead of dropping back to the 1600m.
Two other runners are also at single-figure Toorak Handicap odds with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained I Am Superman ($8.50) also coming off back-to-back wins and the WA raider Superstorm ($9) drawn out in 13 for premier Perth jockey William Pike.
Talented entire I Am Superman has all the momentum coming into the Group 1, but the striking son of Footstepsinthesand does go up to 57.5kg after carting 54.5kg to victory in Rosehill’s Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) last time out.
Prior to that he carried 56.5kg to victory in a 1400m handicap at the Caulfield track where he returns and reunites with Mark Zahra this weekend in tougher company.
Superstorm is also allocated 57.5kg, The All-Star Mile runner-up looking to return to his better form after three unplaced runs this prep.
The four-year-old’s latest start was a seventh to Verry Elleegant in last weekend’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (1600m) at HQ and, having only been beaten two lengths in that, he could surprise here on the quick back-up coming back to a mile.
2020 Toorak Handicap Field
|SO SI BON
|Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
|I AM SUPERMAN (IRE)
|Peter & Paul Snowden
|Grant & Alana Williams
|CHIEF IRONSIDE (GB)
|AGE OF CHIVALRY (NZ)
|Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra
|Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
|BUFFALO RIVER (USA)
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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