The 2018 $500,000 Toorak Handicap over 1600m at Caulfield on Saturday has attracted a capacity field of eighteen runners plus one emergency and is one of four Group 1 races on Caulfield Guineas Day.
The Toorak Handicap field is top heavy with class and quality with the four horses at the top of the field all well-seasoned Group 1 winners.
The old war horse Hartnell has been lumped with the topweight of 59kg and has 2kg more than he carried to victory last start in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap over the Randwick Mile.
Godolphin’s English raider Jungle Cat showed his class with a last stride win in the Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield while the old favourite Black Heart Bart might be racing a bit below his best, he is one that always puts in one hundred per cent.
The Chris Waller trained Shillelagh has been out of the winner’s stall for a while but is always around the minors while further down the list is the 2016 Myer Classic winner I Am A Star who has found winning form again with wins at her last two starts at Group 2 level.
We have analysed the entire field and our 2018 Toorak Handicap tips can be found below!
The James Cummings trained Harnell was back in the Group 1 winner’s stall last start with a hard fought win in the Epsom Handicap over the Randwick Mile carrying 57kg. The multiple Group 1 winner has been given the top weight again and will have to lump 59kg, 2kg more than he carried to victory in the Epsom. James McDonald will be able to give the old war horse a cosy run from barrier seven in the capacity eighteen horse field and he will be chiming in at some stage at the business end of proceedings.
Godolphin’s English raider Jungle Cat showed his class and determination with a last stride win in the Group 1 $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield three weeks ago and a repeat performance will see the royal blue colours fighting out the finish again. English jockey James Doyle will team up again with Jungle Cat and he has the soft hands to nurse the Charlie Appleby trained sprinter in the early and middle stages to give him every chance to run out the 1600m at his first attempt at the distance.
Black Heart Bart
Darren Weir’s multiple Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart has been out of the winner’s stall for over eighteen months but he will think he is going on a picnic with only 56kg on his back. The tough weight for age performer hasn’t carried that light a weight for many years and if he can find some of his Group 1 winning form, the old battler could find himself fighting out the finish. John Allen should be able to give Black Heart Bart every chance from barrier nine.
Shillelagh hasn’t been far off the mark at two runs this campaign and was only beaten just over a length last start when fourth to Hartnell in the Epsom Handicap. Michael Walker will give the Chris Waller trained mare every chance from barrier ten and she will be running on from the back again.
Land Of Plenty
Land Of Plenty, another runner from the Darren Weir stable, failed by a nose and a nose to claim his first Group 1 trophy when third behind Jungle Cat and Dollar For Dollar in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. Land Of Plenty drops 1kg on his last start effort but will need more than his share of luck in the run after drawing the car park. Is yet to win at Caulfield with three placings from seven starts at the track.
Dollar For Dollar
Dollar For Dollar ran a courageous race going down by a nose after setting the pace when second to Jungle Cat in the Sir Rupert Clarkes Stakes. Looks the likely leader again from barrier thirteen and will be hard to run down again. Good each way odds are on offer at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Hellova Street tried hard last start when seventh in the Sir Rupert Clark Stakes and is hard to see him threaten facing similar opposition this week.
I Am A Star
The 2016 Myer Classic winner I Am A Star is back in winning form with two Group 2 victories at her last two starts at Flemington and The Valley. The Shane Nichols trained mare will appreciate the light weight and she will be able to get a nice cart across from the wide alley to race in or near the lead. Has strong each way claims.
Lite’N In My Veins
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Lite’N In My Veins raced on the pace last start before fading to finish tenth in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and it is hard to see him turning the tables here.
Noire has worked her way up through the grades with a last start win in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill but is facing Group 1 company for the first time. A good barrier and a light weight gives the Chris Waller trained mare a great chance of joining the Group 1 winner’s club.
Siege Of Quebec
Siege Of Quebec raced just off the pace last start for a seventh to Hartnell in the Epsom Handicap and will get a similar run here with place chances looking his best.
Cliff’s Edge is facing a huge step up in class after scoring a nose win in a 1400m Handicap at Caulfield. Has drawn out wide but has the Darren Weir polish to help him stay in the contest.
Kingsguard is stepping up to Group 1 company for the first time after running second to Noire in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes at Rosehill. Much tougher here.
Muraaqeb wasn’t disgraced when he stepped straight up from a restricted class win to finish fifth to Hartnell in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap. No easier here.
Hard to see the Mike Moroney trained Radipole bothering these on his last start eighth in a 1700m Caulfield Handicap two weeks ago.
Japanese import Lord Langley will be stepping out for the first time for the Darren Weir stable and the eight year old has been out of the winner’s stall in Japan for well over two years. Race day betting is the only guide.
Hard to see Waging War threatening here on his last start fifth in a 1400n Caulfield Handicap a fortnight ago.
Al Passem beat Waging War home last start when third at Caulfield and they will be having their own battle again in the Toorak Handicap.
Fierce Impact has been installed as one of the outsiders of the field following his last start second in a 1400m restricted race at Rosehill three weeks ago.