No Cox Plate for Toorak Toff
Toorak Toff has been ruled out of the Cox Plate by trainer Rick Hore-Lacy who will keep him to shorter races. Hore-Lacy had flagged the possibility of a start in the Cox Plate (2040m) for Toorak Toff but had backed off a day after he won Saturday’s Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1600m) from stablemate Pinnacles.
The four-year-old’s win capped a remarkable comeback after he was retired last December after being diagnosed as a roarer.
He was destined for stud but the price wasn’t right for Hore-Lacy and his fellow owners and he subsequently underwent successful throat surgery.
Hore-Lacy will target the Toorak Handicap on October 8, the Waterford Crystal Mile and the Emirates Stakes, all over 1600 metres, with Toorak Toff.
“He definitely won’t run in the Cox Plate,” Hore-Lacy told TVN.
“He’s a sprinter miler.
“The best stallions are sprinter milers and I think this horse is going to be a wonderful stallion so the program will be the Toorak, the Waterford Crystal Mile and the Emirates Stakes, all two weeks apart.”
One of the true characters of Australian racing, Hore-Lacy has amassed and lost several small fortunes throughout his career through punting and failed business deals.
When he selected Toorak Toff at the yearling sales, he had to find someone else to sign for him because he had no credit with Magic Millions.
When the stud deal fell through and the decision was made to bring Toorak Toff back to racing, Hore-Lacy was forced to sell 10 per cent of the horse.
“I’m always broke or trying to find the money,” he said.
“There was not enough forthcoming (from the stud). Somehow I hung on to him, I didn’t really want to sell him.
“I sold 10 per cent of him and that gave me enough money to pay the breeders whose yearlings I had purchased at the sales, so I’m fine.”
Hore-Lacy was critical of the hard ground at Caulfield on Saturday and scratched Chase The Rainbow from the Guineas Prelude when the track was upgraded to a good (2).
He said the firm footing had also taken its toll on Toorak Toff.
“Toorak Toff slightly jarred but he will be all right in a few days,” he said.
“The older horses are less likely to break down but I didn’t want to run the young horse on the really hard track.”
Toorak Toff has won five of his 14 starts including last year’s Group One Golden Rose but has yet to win beyond 1400 metres.