A late finishing burst saw Japanese import Tosen Stardom win the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington today.
Tosen Stardom ($6.50) had to overcome a checked run in the straight to claim his second Group 1 victory from his last three starts after taking out the Group 1 $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield four weeks ago.
Damian Lane settled Tosen Stardom in the second half of the field and was caught behind a wall of horses at the top of the straight with his stablemate Cliff’s Edge leading the field for a long time down the Flemington run home.
The three year old Cliff’s Edge with his light weight kicked strongly at the 300m and looked likely to hold off his older rivals but found the pressure too great from the clock tower to the finish post.
Meanwhile Lane was looking everywhere for a clear passage and once Tosen Stardom saw some daylight, he burst through to claim the major prize from Happy Clapper ($8) who was also doing his best work over the concluding stages.
The James Cummings trained It’s Somewhat ($18) had a tough run three wide throughout but stuck to his guns to run on and fill third position.
Winning trained Darren Weir had always had plenty of faith in Tosen Stardom’s ability and said now that he is trouble free the stable is benefitting greatly.
“The key has been to get constant races into him,” Weir said.
“You would never have been able to back him up in previous preps because of problems. Both the crews at Warrnambool and Ballarat have done an amazing job of helping to keep him sound.”
“I thought he looked great in the yard today and he really let go like the real Tosen Stardom.”
The Charlie Appleby trained English raider Folkswood was sent out as the $3.60 favourite and tried hard in the straight to finish fifth.
The start of race was delayed for some considerable time after the well fancied Kiwi runner Gingernuts was injured on the way to the barriers and was subsequently a late scratching.