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Toorak Handicap Tips - Widgee Turf gets his chance for Group 1 glory

  • It is a wide open Toorak Handicap
  • The Patrick Payne-trained Widgee Turf looks well placed
Widgee Turf likes it at Caulfield (PA Images)

The Toorak Handicap (1600m) is the last of the four Group 1 races at Caulfield on what is a super Saturday of racing. 

The time honoured race shapes as a wide open betting affair and there is value galore amongst the capacity field. Favourite in early betting markets is the last start Stocks Stakes (1600m) winner, Princess Jenni, but it is one at the $14 quote that I am keen on in the form of Widgee Turf. 

The Patrick Payne-trained galloper produced an eye catching performance in the recent Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), running 3rd behind Begood Toya Mother. 

In that race, the six year old settled towards the rear of the field and worked his way into it as they approached the bend before gaining plenty of late ground along the inside. 

The Rupert Clarke has provided six of the past seven winners of the Toorak Handicap. Interestingly, three of those ran 3rd in that lead up, including Land Of Plenty, who went a couple of spots better last year. 

Other key runners to come out of the Rupert Clarke include Age Of Chivalry (2nd), Streets Of Avalon (4th) and So Is Bon (5th). Age Of Chivalry is vying for favouritism with Princess Jenni at the $8 quote. 

One of the keys to Widgee Turf's chances is that he is third up from a spell. The son of Turffontein has an excellent record at this stage of previous preparations, racing four times and winning three of those, while finishing runner up in another. 

There is a school of thought that he is better suited on wet tracks but he was dominant on a Good surface in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Mile (1600m) at Caulfield back in April and his recent run in the Rupert Clarke was also on the Good. 

He carries 57.5kg on Saturday but meets Age Of Chivalry slightly better at the weights from the Rupert Clarke run and it should be noted that plenty of horses have carried weight to victory in this race over the years. 

If we use recent history as a guide, we see that five of the past nine winners have carried 57.5kg or more and they include the likes of Tosen Stardom, Lucky Hussler, King Mufhasa, Solzenitsyn and the gun mare, More Joyous. 

He will just need an ounce of luck from barrier 9 but there looks to be a stack of pace around him and he shouldn't have too much trouble finding a spot in the running line with Billy Egan to steer. 

A winner of 11 of his 32 career starts, he looks well suited over the mile and if there is a Group 1 in him, the Toorak looks to be the one at a nice price. 

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Toorak Handicap Tips - Widgee Turf gets his chance for Group 1 glory

It is a wide open Toorak Handicap and the Patrick Payne-trained Widgee Turf looks well placed

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