Preview, Trends & Analysis
The time-honoured Toorak Handicap is one of the most prestigious Group 1 handicap miles across the Australian racing calendar.
In a race that is run at Caulfield Racecourse with a prize pool of $500,000 shared with those who land in the prize money placings.
The inaugural running of the race was in 1881 and won by Josephine.
It an event not always won by the best horse in the race with a lot of top horses entered in the Toorak Handicap being heavily penalised at the weights due to its handicap nature.
Run at the beginning of the Caulfield Spring Carnival, the Toorak Handicap is on the same as the Caulfield Guineas, Thousand Guineas and Caulfield Stakes.
The winner of the race becomes ballot exempt for the Caulfield Cup with the last horse to have done the Toorak Handicap/Caulfield Cup double being New Zealand-bred galloper Leilani.
The most recent winner of the race was the Mick Price & Michael Kent Junior-trained I’m Thunderstruck.
The Famous Winners and Record Results
A race of such prestige has been won by horses who have staked their claim as the best milers to grace the Australian racing turf.
Two horses have done the Toorak Handicap double since 1999 with first being Umrum (1999, 2000) and the Robert Heathcote-trained Solzhenitsyn (2012, 2013).
Trainer Darren Weir dominated the race before being suspended with four winners in the space of five years.
Trust In A Gust (2014), Lucky Hussler (2015), Tosen Stardom (2017), Land Of Plenty (2018) were all brilliant winners of the Toorak Handicap.
Champion miler Fierce Impact (2019) also ticked this race off his impressive CV and was then succeeded by Mr Quickie (2020).
Gai Waterhouse also had her mare More Joyous (2010) tally up a victory in the race under the guidance of Nash Rawiller.
Scrolling back to before the turn of 20th century, Leilani (1974) was a brilliant winner of the race and used it as her platform to win the Caulfield Cup a few weeks later.
Gunsynd (1971), Tobin Bronze (1967) and Galilee (1966) have also registered wins in the Toorak Handicap.
There have also been a handful of multiple winners of the Toorak Handicap.
Saxony (1948, 1949) was the first horse to win two Toorak Handicaps.
His feat was then followed by double triumphs to Desert Breeze (1952, 1953) and Nicopolis (1963, 1964) are the only other horses to have done so prior to Umrum and Solzhenitsyn.
The inside barriers have provided punters with a stack of winners since 1983.
Barriers one to five in that time have produced 14 winning runners.
Of the double figure barriers, number 11 has been the most successful with four winners.
It is a race that is usually run at breakneck speed, so a comfortable barrier that allows for an economical is usually preferred.
The wider have produced winners though.
Barriers 12, 14, 15, 17, 18 have endeared punters with at least one winner since 1983.
Should the weather take a turn for the worse, the wider lanes and being draw out wide on the course is often the place to be.
The Australian Guineas Recent Winners
Mick Price & Michael Kent Junior
Land of Plenty
He’s Our Rokki
David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
Trust In A Gust
The race will be run and won on the 9th of October, 2021.
- This race is run on Caulfield Guineas Day and there are a stack of Group 1 races as well as stakes races on the card.
- Caulfield Guineas, Thousand Guineas and Caulfield Stakes are all run on the same card.
- Punch in betdeluxe.com.au to your browser and find your home for all your different types of ways to bet not only on Toorak Handicap Day but every race across Australia including the Caulfield Guineas.
The winner and runners in the race may end up going to the spelling paddock with the autumn carnival or summer racing carnival on the agenda.
Many horses who compete in the Toorak Handicap also go towards the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day, or the Cox Plate (2020m), the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) or even the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for the fillies and mares.