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The Toorak Handicap is a Group 1 open handicap race held annually at Caulfield racecourse during the Melbourne Spring racing carnival in October. The race is run over a distance of 1600 metres and worth $400,000 in prizemoney. The 2015 Toorak Handicap was won by Lucky Hussler from Disposition with Stratum Star third.
From 1981-84 the race was known as the ‘The IXL’ and then from 1985-89 the ‘The Elders Mile’ and from 1990 onwards it has been the Toorak Handicap.
The Toorak Handicap takes place at Caulfield racecourse on Guineas day which is the first day of the three-day Caulfield racing carnival and is one of three Group 1 races held on the day alongside the Caulfield Guineas and Caulfield Stakes.
The second day of the Caulfield carnival the following Wednesday features the Gr1 Thousand Guineas for fillies while the third and final day is the next Saturday which sees the running of the main feature race of the Caulfield carnival, the Gr1 Caulfield Cup.
The Toorak Handicap is one of the better mile races of the spring carnival and attracts good horses each year, although the race is better suited to seasoned sprinter milers rather than Cup staying types. A capacity field is usually assembled for the Toorak and barrier draws can play an important part, with those drawn out wide at a distinct disadvantage.
The Gr1 Sir Rupert Stakes at Caulfield is a handy lead-up race to this event and Trust In A Gust (2014), Barely A Moment (2005) and Regal Roller (2004) have managed to take out the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes & Toorak Handicap double in recent years.
Winners of this race tend to continue performing best in similar type handicap events around the same distance or slightly longer, up to 2000m, rather than the longer distances of the major cups.
Lucky Hussler (2015) finished sixth in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield before storming home to win this event and recent Toorak Handicap winners include Trust In A Gust (2014) and Solzhenitsyn (2012-13).
Solzhenitsyn (2012) ran third in the Gr2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day after winning this race. Poor Judge (3rd in 2011) took out the Gr3 Chatham Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington after finishing third here.
All American (8th in 2009) scored an easy victory in the Gr1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington on the final day of the carnival and , Gold Salute (2nd in 2009) ran third the same race.
2015 Toorak Handicap result
1. $6.00 Lucky Hussler 58.0 Glen Boss
2. $5.00 Disposition 55.0 Dwayne Dunn
3. $8.00 Stratum Star 57.0 Craig Williams
4. $21.00 Ninth Legion 55.5 Blake Shinn
5. $21.00 Flamingo Star 54.5 Craig Newitt
6. $11.00 Abidewithme 52.0 Patrick Moloney
7. $31.00 Jacquinot Bay 53.5 Chris Parnham
8. $20.00 Strawberry Boy 56.0 Jim Cassidy
9. $41.00 Leebaz 56.0 James Winks
10. $18.00 Hopfgarten 54.0 Glen Colless
11. $19.00 Akavoroun 52.0 Luke Currie
12. $71.00 Puccini 55.5 Ben Melham
13. $17.00 Kenjorwood 55.0 Vlad Duric
14. $13.00 Hi World 54.5 Kerrin McEvoy
15. $12.00 Noble Protector 54.0 Michael Walker
16. $61.00 Rhythm To Spare 52.0 Daniel Moor
17. $81.00 Moonovermanhattan 52.0 Michael Dee
Margins: 1.25L, 0.10L Time: 1:34.57
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