A talented and capacity field of eighteen has been confirmed for Saturday’s 2015 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m); highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Spring Carnival’s most exciting racing prospects.
Stratum Star charged home to post a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago and is positioned well for continued success in the Toorak Handicap in barrier 2.
Posting four wins and a further nine minors through eighteen career starts so far, Stratum Star was a standout for Darren Weir through the recent Autumn Carnival; running third in each of the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) before placing second in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m).
Having run third in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) leading into the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Stratum Star will be partnered by last start hoop Craig Williams in the Toorak Handicap.
Weir has confirmed we will launch a two-pronged attack on the Group 1 feature after also including Lucky Hussler in the Toorak Handicap final field.
Lucky Hussler capped an impressive 2014 Spring Carnival campaign with a close second to Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), but returned this time for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
Having placed fourth in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) and sixth in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Lucky Hussler has been set for this race and will leave from the ideal barrier 4.
Disposition ran a close second in the Sir Rupert Clarke last time and could very well receive the run of the race in the Toorak Handicap from barrier 7, with Dwayne Dunn aboard.
Disposition began his racing career in Perth under the guidance of Grant Williams; winning each of the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) before finishing second in Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Performing well through two autumn starts under the care of Wez Hunter, the Reset gelding charged home to win the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) in his first start for Lee and Anthony Freedman on September 12th; his only other start prior to the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Classy mare Noble Protector was unable to figure late when 13th in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) first-up, but has since trialled well and is primed for success in the Toorak Handicap, particularly with only 54kgs in tow.
A standout for Robert Smerdon through autumn, the Haafhd mare won each of the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) and Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) before running on for third in less-than ideal conditions in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
Queensland-based raider Hopfgarten will leave from barrier 1 in the Toorak Handicap, while Jacquinot Bay has been charged with overcoming the outsider gate.
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2015 Toorak Handicap Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||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||–||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|