Trust In A Gust and Bull Point are both available at 2014 Toorak Handicap odds of $5.50 and are locked in a battle for favouritism for the Group 1 event at Caulfield this weekend.
Trust In A Gust broke through for a maiden win at Group 1 level in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28 and punters are confident that he can become the first horse since Barely A Moment in 2005 to win both races in the same year.
The Keep The Faith entire opened at a quote of $7 in Toorak Handicap betting markets, but has been the best-backed runner in the past 24 hours and is now available at odds of $5.50 to score a second straight Group 1 victory.
Bull Point opened as equal favourite when the Toorak Handicap field was released yesterday and has remained rock solid at that quote.
The Fastnet Rock entire worked home strongly to finish third in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and trainer Chris Waller believes that the four-year-old is clearly the horse to beat in the Toorak Handicap this weekend.
“Bull Point has 54 and a half and is only one and a half kilograms above the minimum,” Waller said.
“He steps up to a mile, which I think that he will appreciate, and his three runs this preparation has all been very good including a Group 1 placing and he is the horse to beat.”
Arabian Gold was the early Toorak Handicap favourite, but has been slight drifter in betting despite her impressive first-up victory in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 27.
Trainer David Vandyke is still chasing a maiden win at Group 1 level, but he believes that Arabian Gold has gotten into the Toorak Handicap well in the weights and is a genuine winning chance in the $500,000 race.
“Originally we thought that she was going to get 52 and a half to 53, but I think a couple of the Europeans and better performed horses didn’t nominate, which raised the weights and gave her 54,” Vandyke said yesterday.
“I am happy with 54 and I think that is a weight she can go around and win with.”
Solicit and Commanding Jewel rounded out the placings in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26 and they are the only two other runners that are available at single figure Toorak Handicap odds.
Commanding Jewel opened at $6.50, but has been a slight drifter and is out to $7.50, while there has been support for Solicit and she has remained steady at her early priced of $7.50.
There has been a sprinkling of support in Toorak Handicap betting markets for Late Charge ($16), while imported galloper Guest Of Honour ($10 out to $14), Kiwi mare Recite ($26 out to $34) and Robbie Laing-trained Tristram’s Sun ($51 out to $61) have all been early drifters.