HUNTER syndicators Australian Bloodstock (AB) have fielded strong stud interest in Tosen Stardom but hope to give him an autumn racing swansong after his dominant Emirates Stakes win on Saturday.
The seven-year-old entire scored his second group 1 win inside a month, flashing home to take out the $2 million Emirates (2000m) by 1 ½ lengths at Flemington.
It capped a successful Melbourne Cup carnival for AB, who were a narrow second with another Darren Weir-trained import, Raw Impulse, earlier on Saturday. They won with the Andreas Wohler-trained Mr Garcia on Thursday and were fourth in the Cup with Big Duke. The positives softened the blow of losing Admire Deus to a career-ending injury.
“We’ve had a great carnival,” AB co-director Jamie Lovett said. “We had plenty of bullets and after the disappointment of Admire Deus, it’s all panned out pretty well.”
Tosen Stardom’s $1.2 million windfall followed his breakthrough group 1 victory in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfied and completed a satisfying comeback for connections.
AB bought 50 per cent of the Deep Impact-Admire Kirameki entire in April 2016 after stewards deemed he had bled ahead of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After vet inspections and their own investigations, AB were confident Tosen Stardom, a US$3.08 million yearling and multiple group 3 winner in Japan, could return.
A cut leg, which forced him to miss this year’s Doncaster Mile, and other minor issues have since hampered Tosen Stardom’s career, but the recent wins took his stakes in Australia past $1.7 million.
AB co-director Luke Murrell said he had already received interest from studs and he hoped to secure a deal soon which would enable Tosen Stardom to race in the autumn before starting his career as a sire.
Murrell said Tosen Stardom, Mr Garcia, Raw Impulse and Everest placegetter Brave Smash all loomed as potential Doncaster contenders for AB next April.
Lovett said Weir had done an “amazing job” with Tosen Stardom.
“He’s a world-class horse,” Lovett said on Sunday. “It was just the case of getting him fit and having an uninterrupted preparation, which he’s had this time.
“There’s not much around now, so I’d say we’ll wait until the autumn and races like the Doncaster and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes would be his targets.”
As for Tosen Stardom at stud, he said: “He’s got a lot of commercial appeal and that just franked it yesterday.”
Mr Garcia could tackle the Ballarat Cup (November 25) and Big Duke the Sandown Classic (November 18).
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ Sense Of Occasion finished ninth in the Emirates and Clearly Innocent was also strong to the line when fifth in the $1 million Darley Classic (1200m). Newcastle trainer Ben Smith scratched In Her Time, which had hoof repairs, from the Darley.
At Rosehill, Lees’ Just Dreaming won and trainer Jason Deamer continued his unbeaten run with Bon Amis.
AAP reports from Flemington: Darren Weir admits he was concerned Australian racing might never bring out the obvious potential in Tosen Stardom.
But the Japanese import showed his true colours with an explosive late surge to claim victory in the Group One Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
"I was worried we wouldn't see the best of him but we have today. That was the real Tosen Stardom," Weir said.
Ridden by Damian Lane, Tosen Stardom ($6.50) scored by 1-1/2 lengths from Happy Clappy ($8) with It's Somewhat ($18) a short-neck away third.
The race was delayed as Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts needed veterinary attention after completing his parade before the start of the 2000m race.
Jockey Michael Dee said Gingernuts was cantering down to the barriers when he felt something go amiss with the gelding.
"I definitely felt it happen so straight away I pulled him up and got off as quickly as I could," Dee said.
"It's very unfortunate for the connections and not very nice to happen to the horse."
Gingernuts was taken to the University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic in Werribee for further assessment.
For Weir and his stable a lot of hard work has gone into resurrecting the career of Tosen Stardom who was expected to figure prominently during last year's spring carnival.
The campaign was aborted after one run - a fourth in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
Weir had planned an Epsom Handicap assault but after arriving in Sydney those plans were also cut short.
"We ran him at Moonee Valley and he ran great and put him on the float to go to Sydney and he cut his leg," Weir said.
"Everything that could go wrong with the horse went wrong.
"They were never serious problems, it wasn't a knee, a fetlock or a tendon or gone in the wind, they were niggling problems."
This spring has almost been the perfect campaign for Tosen Stardom who picked up the Group One Toorak Handicap at Caulfield last month.
Weir said it was the consistency of getting races into the horse that was the key in Tosen Stardom returning to winning form.
"Racing him fortnight, fortnight, fortnight and being able to back-up after a softish run last week held him in great shape for today," he said.
Weir said Tosen Stardom would now go for a break, suggesting the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in the autumn would be a suitable race.
Lane said Tosen Stardom would have been a good thing beaten if he didn't get out inside the final 200m.
"I had one run close on me, it really stopped my momentum and to switch across heels and still win was just massive," he said.