Somewhat of a surprise favourite, the Waller trained mare has had a tendency to mix her form, but does come into this race off the back of an impressive run in the Epsom behind Hartnell. After a three start campaign during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the Savabeel mare was sent for a break. Returning in the Theo Marks she carried 56kg when finishing close to four lengths from the winner Home Of The Brave. With 53kg in the Epsom she was near the rear of the big field swinging for home and was strong to the line to be 1.2 lengths from the winner in a new course record. The 7YO will meet Hartnell 1.5kg better here at her first look at the Caulfield mile. A winner of the G1 Cantala Stakes with 52kg over the mile last Spring when third-up, Waller will be looking to replicate that same format- the mile third-up at handicap conditions with Michael Walker in the saddle. At Caulfield Shillelagh has the record of 6: 1-0-1, with that win coming in a BM84 back in October under 54kg.
Jungle Cat comes into the race a last start Group 1 winner after claiming the Rupert Clarke Stakes here over the 1400m on September 22 at his maiden Australian appearance. That took his winning streak to four in succession following three successive wins in Dubai. Given a three start campaign on the Meydan turf, the entire secured victory in all three starts during his Arabian adventure. Stepping out first-up at 1400m in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort he carried 57kg to score and backed that up with a second-up win at 1200m in scoring by an impressive 2.25 lengths. Part of the astute Charlie Appleby team that has had good success in past campaigns in Australia, Jungle Cat brings International G1 form which is a real X-Factor for this type of race. This will be his first time at the mile, having had six previous starts at 1400m for the figures of 6: 2-2-0, while his record when two runs in has seen him finish in the top two in all five runs second-up- 5: 2-3-0. Englishman James Doyle will once again be in the saddle and has three rides for the day- all for Appleby.
The Shane Nicholls trained mare has returned in great form this campaign in her 5YO season. Returning in the Aurie’s Star down the Flemington straight six, they were a bit too sharp for her first-up. Second-up in the Cockram under 58kg, she was settled near the rear and ran through the line strongly when 2.5 lengths from the winner. Out to 1400m in the G2 Lets Elope, she was sent forward from a wide gate to be ridden on the speed and fought gamely to the line to claim a narrow victory. Her lead-in to this came in the G2 Stocks Stakes when sent to the front at The Valley, she controlled the race for a stylish 1.25 length victory. Last season she followed a similar path with victory in the Stocks prior to the most disappointing run of her career when a distant last. Carrying 54.5kg in that edition, she will have just 52.5kg this year with Dwayne Dunn to ride. A four-time winner at the mile, she faces a test as her best has always been against her own sex, but that said she is in great order and represents value.
The Godolphin 8YO moved past $5m in career earnings last start when taking out the Epsom Handicap. Carrying the 57kg top-weight, he charged through the centre of the big field to arrive for a narrow victory over D’Argento and run a new course record in the process. He has been a grand campaigner since arriving in Australia and always gives his best. Showing his versatility, he resumed in the Orr Stakes in the Autumn first up since the Melbourne Cup and proved too strong in scoring a narrow win. A further three starts followed before being sent for a break prior to returning in the Lawrence Stakes at G2 level. Settled close to the speed, he was a half-length from the winner Showtime and when second-up at the mile was again a half-length from the winner in the Feehan Stakes at The Valley. From six appearances at The Heath he has missed a cheque just once, that miss coming in last year’s Caulfield Stakes at 2000m when on the Melbourne Cup path. James McDonald re-unites with the gelding and has five previous wins, including two at G1 level.
Held at Caulfield on a bumper day of racing where four Group 1 races are set down for decision, the Toorak Handicap is run over 1600m. The race is one of two mile races with open handicap conditions in the Spring Racing Carnival, the other being the Kennedy Mile (formerly the Emirates Stakes or Cantala Stakes).
The race has a long history that dates back to 1886 and has been run over 1600m (1 mile) for all but one year since. The race will offer total prize money of $500,000. The race was a Principal race and in 1979 was awarded elite status and has been run at G1 level since.
The Darren Weir trained and Damian Lane ridden Tosen Stardom was succesful in in 2017, while other past winners include Lucky Hussler, More Joyous, Marble Halls and the dual winners Solzhenitsyn and Umrum. Michelle Payne rode her first G1 winner when partnering with the Bart Cummings trained Allez Wonder in the 2009 edition.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 13th September 2018|
|Race Time:||15:45 AEST|
|2017 Winner:||Tosen Stardom|
|2018 Toorak Handicap Odds|
|2016||He's Our Rokkii|
|2014||Trust In A Gust|