A classy field of 17 runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse, highlighted by some of the Spring Racing Carnival’s most exciting racing prospects.
Returning to the track in great condition this time in following nearly a year on the sidelines, trainers Leon and Troy Corstens have nominated Commanding Jewel for the 2014 Toorak Handicap.
Finishing outside the places just once in ten starts since debuting during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, Commanding Jewel immediately stamped her claims as one to watch when finishing second in the Group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m), third in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Appearing to be on track for another standout preparation over the 2013 spring before suffering a string of unfortunate training injuries, the Commands mare finished a fighting third in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) first-up before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) on September 13th.
While unable to match the late pace of Dear Demi in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) and third last time out, the Corstens’ have been thrilled with the progressing condition of the lightly-raced five-year-old and are confident of a polished performance in the 2014 Toorak Handicap.
Breaking through for a maiden Group 1 when poking a nose clear in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago, trainer Darren Weir has nominated Trust In A Gust for the 2014 Toorak Handicap.
Securing nine wins and five minors from just 16 competitive starts, Trust In A Gust has returned to racing in career best form this time in, winning the Jeep Don’t Hold Back BM90 (1200m) first-up and finishing second in the Listed Drummond Stakes (1200m) and returning to the winner’s circle in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1400m) and Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Having contested an event over a mile just once previously, Weir is confident the Keep The Faith entire’s recent run of form will translate into a successful step-up for the Toorak Handicap.
Arguably the country’s most talented current racehorse yet to break through for a maiden Group 1 victory, Speediness was unlucky to be blocked for a run in an unsuccessful tilt at the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes last time out, but is offered a great chance of success in the Toorak Handicap.
Performing to a typically high standard over the Autumn Carnival, the Testa Rossa gelding finished second in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and continued to build in form on his way to second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) most notably on March 29th.
Finishing fourth in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) first-up this time in what was his only other start prior to the Sir Rupert Clarke, Speediness will be a serious threat on Saturday if allocated an ideal barrier.
Nominated for just his fourth appearance under Chris Waller in the 2014 Toorak Handicap, Bull Point announced his racing arrival over the 2013 Spring Carnival, peaking with an impressive run for third in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).
Quickly building to the task this time in, the Fastnet Rock entire ran third in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) first-up and second in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) before running third in the Sir Rupert Clarke most recently, equalling arguably his most impressive career result.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Toorak Handicap is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Toorak Handicap Nominations
|2||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||–|
|3||ATLANTE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||101|
|4||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||101|
|5||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon & Troy Corstens||109|
|6||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||92|
|8||GUEST OF HONOUR (IRE)||Marco Botti||108|
|9||LATE CHARGE||Wendy Kelly||–|
|10||RECITE (NZ)||John Bary||101|
|11||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–|
|13||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||103|
|15||SPIRIT OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||83|
|16||TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ)||Robbie Laing||82|
|17||TRUST IN A GUST||Darren Weir||105|