Yosei Still Not Quite There Ahead Of Toorak

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Group 1 winner Yosei will be looking for a form turn-around in the Toorak Handicap

Yosei has only won four races throughout her 15 start career but she certainly knows how to time them to perfection.

After winning on debut at Benalla her next triumph came in the AJC Sires Produce Stakes, after that it was the Thousand Guineas and her most recent victory was the Tattersall’s Tiara in Brisbane.

That well and truly qualifies her as a Group 1 specialist and means there will be plenty of people giving her a good look ahead of the Toorak Handicap this weekend.

It would be a huge turn around if she could win the event though after finishing second last in the Rupert Clarke Stakes and 15th of 18 in the Bobbie Lewis Quality first up for the spring.

Trainer Stuart Webb says the firm track did her no favours last start at Caulfield and it’s taken the horse a little while to get back to full health.

“She had general soreness, she didn’t handle that really firm track on Rupert Clarke day,” he said.

“By the end of the week we were back where we were, it was nothing structural.”

The real key to the success of Yosei has been trusting the assessment of Webb as well as jockey Michelle Payne.

They understand their horse more than just about any other combination in Australian racing and they can tell when she’s ready to fire.

With that in mind many will be wary after Webb compared her current fitness to where she was before her Tattersall’s Tiara run.

“She’s not far away but we’re not quite where we were, we’re good without being brilliant,” he said.

One bonus they do have is that the track will be nowhere near as firm as it was when they last visited Caulfield.

“The sting out of the track we hopefully will have, that’s going t be a big plus,” he said.

“Working out wide on it yesterday the horses were getting right into it.

“Without being too rain affected the sting will definitely be out of it.”

Another positive for the horse is that she’ll carry just 54.5kg, a kilo less than what she dealt with last time out.

“That’s a big help, the other week I thought we were a little close to a couple of other horses,” Webb said.

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