Toorak Toff took Rick Hore-Lacy’s breath away with a barnstorming win in the Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. The Caulfield trainer jokingly asked for an oxygen mask as he tried to digest his colt’s unexpected head win over Soul and Blue Diamond Stakes winner Star Witness.
“My heart is going boom, boom, boom,” Hore-Lacy said. “I didn’t think he could win because I thought the distance wouldn’t suit. He has come from last and gone around them and made it look easy.”
Hore-Lacy feared that the 1100 metres would be too short for Toorak Toff but jockey Damien Oliver urged him home down the centre of the track to score his fourth win in seven starts. He returned the fastest sectionals for every split of the race and was the only horse to break 35 seconds for the final 600 metres.
Toorak Toff will now head to Sydney for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill and then return to Melbourne and take on the older horses at weight-for-age leading up to the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October.
Hore-Lacy had declared Toorak Toff as potentially a better horse than his Blue Diamond and Caulfield Guineas winner Redoute’s Choice but isn’t getting carried away just yet. “It is still a bit early to compare him with a horse like Redoute’s Choice but if he hadn’t been shin-sore he could easily have won the Blue Diamond,” he said.
Hore-Lacy also claimed Toorak Toff was desperately unlucky at his two starts in Sydney where he drew wide and finished fourth in the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and seventh in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes.(1600m).
Oliver revealed he identified Toorak Toff as a potentially top three-year-old after the colt won the Adelaide Magic Millions and Group 3 Jansz at Morphettville earlier this year. “He is a great size and obviously travels well and has a good turn of foot,” Oliver said. “He has a great constitution and I think there is improvement in him.”
Toorak Toff (3c Show a Heart – Orong by Grand Lodge) was a $135,000 buy for Hore-Lacy client Bill Van Rooy at the 2009 Gold Coast Magic Millions. “I took a shine to the colt and I’ve always thought he was pretty good,” Hore-Lacy said. “There’s better things in store for him in the spring.”
The Vain Stakes winner is the only named foal to date for the unraced Grand Lodge mare Orong. She is a daughter of G2 Sandown Guineas winner Blixen. Glernlogan Park sold her Bradbury’s Luck half-brother to Toorak Toff for $100,000 at the Magic Millions 2YO HIT Sale.