Trainer Guy Walter is still on the lookout for a new rider for Epsom Handicap favourite Toydini with regular rider Blake Shinn still unable to make the weight even after the four year old was penalised 1kg for his Cameron Handicap win.
Blake ride Toydini to a commanding win in the Group 3 $150,000 Summer Bright Lager Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle on Wednesday, exempting the Bernadini gelding from the ballot for Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 5.
But even with the penalty pushing Toydini’s Epsom weight up 53kg, Shinn said that it would be impossible to get down to that weight.
“I can ride at 55kg, and I can ride at 54kg with a few weeks notice, but not 53kg. I physically can’t,” Shinn told The Daily Telegraph.
Blake will continue to help Walter with his preparation for the Spring Carnival feature ‘Mile’ and will be on hand for trackwork duties.
“I’m just rapt for the stable, I’ll continue to ride him in all his trackwork and get him ready for this race,” Shinn said.
Walter is expecting to be swamped with inquiries for one of the best rides of the Spring.
“It’s a nice problem to have,” Walter said.
“I won’t run him again until the Epsom. He’s a horse who likes his races spaced. We’ll then go to Melbourne after that for the Waterford Crystal Mile and the Emirates (Stakes).”
“He’s developing into an outstanding horse, and his last five runs he’s been able to win the Phar Lap Stakes, the Carbine Club and now the Cameron.”
On the down side, the Cameron Handicap has not been a happy hunting ground leading up to the Epsom Handicap with only one winner, Excellerator in 2002, the only horse to go on and win the Cameron-Epsom double.
Toydini is now a clear cut favourite for the Epsom Handicap at $5.50 with Doncaster Handicap winner Sacred Falls the next in the market order at $9.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Carlton House is marked at $11 with Walter’s stable star Streama a $12 chance.
Sacred Falls and Streama, with Shinn to ride, are set to clash in tomorrow’s Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick as they head towards the Epsom in two weeks.