Tosen fires big time

Nov 13, 2017

Tosen Stardom finally fulfilled his promise with his win in the $2 million group 1 Emirates Stakes, but the victory was overshadowed by a dual blow to the connections of New Zealand star Gingernuts.

One of the owners of the Kiwi galloper had what was believed to be a heart attack just minutes after Gingernuts broke down when cantering down to the barriers.

His jockey Michael Dee said later that they were barely into a canter when he felt something wrong.

‘’He was cantering down beautifully then I felt something go amiss,’’ he said. ‘’I felt it happen and then got off straight away.’’

The horse’s troubled front leg was stabilised while on the track, necessitating a 10-minute delay before the race. He was taken immediately to the veterinary clinic at Werribee.

Gingernuts, a dual classic winner, was supposed to come to Melbourne for the Caulfield Cup but after missing a run in New Zealand was held back for the Emirates and had impressed in his work leading into the event.

Officials are yet to release any information on the horse’s owner.

Trainer Patrick Webster was watching his horse Happy Clapper run in the trainer’s room when he saw Gingernuts’ owner have ‘a turn’.

‘’I was giving him first aid before I knew Clapper had run second,’’ Webster said. ‘’I hope he’s okay.’’

The unfortunate series of events took much of the gloss of Tosen Stardom’s second group 1 success.

The former Japanese horse had some worries of his own during the run as he was buried away in the pack after missing the start, but jockey Damian Lane managed to get him clear late and he charged away to win by a length and a half.

Trainer Darren Weir admitted later that due to all the injury concerns suffered by Tosen Stardom over the past few seasons, he doubted whether Australia would see the best of the horse.

‘’That was the real Tosen Stardom today,’’ he said. ‘’That’s the sort of ability we knew he had and thankfully we’ve been able to see it today.’’

Weir said that while Tosen Stardom had a few things against him last Saturday in the Cantala Stakes, he wasn’t over confident the horse could produce his best on Saturday.

‘’It was a bit of a head-scratcher to tell you the truth and I was a bit worried because nothing seems to go right with this horse but backing-up and stepping up to 2000 metres was just perfect for him.