Daniel Bowman expects the Group One C F Orr Stakes to answer an important question about stable star Begood Toya Mother over his pet distance at a course where he excels.
Bowman has had Saturday’s weight-for-age Orr (1400m) at Caulfield as a target for Begood Toya Mother who gave the trainer his first Group One win in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over the course and distance under handicap conditions last spring.
Begood Toya Mother has raced twice at weight-for-age, finishing sixth in the Memsie Stakes on his way to winning the Sir Rupert Clarke in the spring.
Bowman believes the gelding did not handle Moonee Valley in the Australia Stakes first-up over 1200m on January 24 and plans not to run him at that track again.
The trainer believes he has the five-year-old as well as possible for a second-up run heading into Saturday’s race for which he is on the third line of betting behind Scales Of Justice and Hey Doc.
“If he can’t be highly competitive on Saturday at weight-for-age then he’s just not a weight-for-age horse,” Bowman said.
“We’ve got him as good as we can. He’s ticked every box. He’s drawn a great gate, he’s second-up.
“It’s Caulfield over 1400 metres and his only defeat at Caulfield was in the Memsie when he probably wasn’t fit enough and did a few things wrong but was only beaten 2-1/2-lengths.
“If he can bring his A-game then he should be highly competitive.”
The Orr is one of two 1400m Group One weight-for-age races at Caulfield Bowman has in mind for Begood Toya Mother, with the Futurity Stakes two weeks later the other.
“We always had this as a target and we just thought if he runs top three we’ll still go to the Futurity but the Futurity is going to be a lot stronger with horses like Kolding and Melody Belle heading that way,” he said.
“We thought our best chance if we were going to win one would be this one. He meets a few of the other horses with a run under his belt and they are first-up, and probably the others out of the Australia Stakes in Scales Of Justice and Hey Doc are the two to beat.”
Declan Bates reunites with Begood Toya Mother after missing the Australia Stakes ride as he recovered from knee injury.
“He galloped him on Tuesday and was really happy with his work,” Bowman said.
“He said he felt great. I’m really happy with our horse. The only box he’s got to tick is the weight-for-age box.”