The Wolf’s runner by runner guide on the Group One Toorak Handicap at Caulfield.
Awesome Rock ($15)
Asked to carry the top weight of 58kg but plenty of recent winners of the Toorak have defied big weights. In the past six years, Lucky Hussler (58kg), Trust In A Gust (56.5kg), Solzhenitsyn (58kg), King Mufhasa (58kg) and More Joyous (58kg) have got the job done. He was a strong winner of the Dato two back in a race marred with mid-race carnage before running a sound fifth in the Underwood. Wouldn’t want the track too firm. Place claims.
Tosem Stardom ($6)
It hasn’t been the smoothest preparation for this ex Japanese galloper. He was shuffled back in the Dato before steaming late. Not sure he’d have beaten Awesome Rock with a clearer passage but he at least would have run a clear second. Was scratched from a showdown with Winx in Sydney after cutting his leg. Despite the hiccup, he has the class to give this a massive shake. The draw dictates him getting back again though.
Bon Aurum ($5.50)
Ciaron Maher has this horse flying but it was the ride of Kerrin McEvoy that got Bon Aurum across the line in the Sir Rupert Clarke. It was perfect in every way. He rises 4kg from that win and is a query at the mile. He has tackled 1600m on two occasions in the past and failed horribly in both of them. To his credit, he was tipped straight out after both flops so could have simply come to the end of his campaigns.
He’s Our Rokkii ($4)
Was always a promising horse but he has got to a whole new level this spring. Resumed with a really strong win at Caulfield over the race fit Prince Of Brooklyn before giving his rivals windburn second-up, again at Caulfield. He clearly loves the track and the step out to the mile won’t stop him. Will need some luck at the right time from barrier 1 but on his current form, he’s the horse to beat in this.
Jacquinot Bay ($31)
If there is a horse you’d want to go to war with from the Toorak field, it’s this bloke. He’s nine but arguably racing in career best form. As a punter though, it’s best to admire him rather than back him. He’d run the same race no matter the grade but rarely pokes his neck out far enough to win. Drops back from WFA races so the weight scale suits.
Royal Rapture ($9)
Has won five on the trot for Darren Weir and deserves his chance at this level. The most remarkable thing about his winning sequence is that he keeps improving. This is by far his hardest test to date but you’d be a braver man than The Wolf to rule him out completely.
It’s no surprise that Craig Williams got the boot after his effort on this four-year-old in the Rupert Clarke. Somehow found himself posted on a limb from a middle gate. First-up he was also short on luck and should have beaten Mackintosh who has since franked the form in the Epsom. Not sure about him out to the mile though. The firmness of the track is also a query. Think he’s racing as well as ever but don’t think this is his right race.
Miss Rose De Lago ($21)
It’s critical that this mare finds her rhythm. First-up she tucked in behind a hot speed but was still let roll at a good clip. She won. She was never on the track in the Dato and threw in the towel to finish last. She bounced back in the Stocks Stakes but was no match for the closing splits of Don’t Doubt Mamma. Love the booking of noted front-runner Katie Mallyon. She has ridden her once for a victory. Could surprise a few.
Cosmic Cube ($34)
The Wolf expected better from this gelding over the spring. He found a new home with Chris Waller and after a nice trial at Randwick, looked set to pinch a race or two. However, he hasn’t done a lot in three runs. His latest effort suggested he was getting closer to winning form but he was still no match for Moral Victory or Caped Crusader. Seems ambitious to line him up in this, even with 53kg. Perhaps will respond to the vigor of Froggy Newitt.
Thames Court ($11)
This mare is racing extremely well and The Wolf had her pegged as a coming winner if she lined up against mares at her next outing. Instead, she again faces the boys in a Group One Toorak. There is a win for her just around the corner but this might be a touch too deep for her. Will be thereabouts again though.
Great Esteem ($34)
A prospective jumping career was put on hold after two straight Caulfield wins kicked off his preparation. The connections then shot for the stars in the G1 George Main Stakes and after dropping out to run an unspectacular last, they’ve clearly lost none of their ambition given he tackles another Group One. Much better suited back to his home track and drawn 2, he’ll give some cheek.
Moral Victory ($15)
This seven-year-old is in career best form at the moment. There’s been a resurgence of the Tim Martin stable and this gelding has led the charge. It’s the first time he steps away from his home track of Rosehill this spring but he’s simply going too well to discount. Martin has said that this race has been the target all along. Should get a perfect trail from barrier 3.
He was brilliant first-up at Flemington off a Queensland campaign but failed to back that up in the Rupert Clarke. He wasn’t disgraced in running sixth but he had his chance to finish closer to Bon Aurum. The last time was saw him at the mile he won the Sunshine Coast Guineas in dominant fashion. Would want to see a similarly positive ride here to make the most of his light weight.
The Wolf’s Top 5
1. He’s Our Rokkii
2. Miss Rose De Lago
3. Royal Rapture
5. Awesome Rock
Odds as of 11am Thursday, October 6.
Bet on the latest Toorak Handicap market.