Tosen’s just made

But tragedy pre­cedes Weir’s lat­est tri­umph Tem­pest move meets with suc­cess

Sunday Herald Sun - - RACING - CHIEF RAC­ING RE­PORTER 1ST: 2ND: 3RD:

TRI­UMPH and tragedy are in­con­gru­ous sta­ble­mates on race­courses and even more so on ma­jor days.

The Emi­rates Stakes, a $2 mil­lion Group 1 book­end to a fab­u­lous spring car­ni­val, con­trived to de­liver both in a bit­ter­sweet fi­nale to Flemington’s fourth day.

Tri­umph be­longed to the mer­cu­rial Tosen Star­dom, an enig­matic tal­ent with a huge mo­tor, jockey Damian Lane and trainer Darren Weir.

Tragedy be­fell Kiwi star Ginger­nuts and one of the chest­nut’s own­ers af­ter a dou­ble pre-race mishap.

Ginger­nuts went amiss as jockey Michael Dee can­tered him to the start. Watch­ing on, one of the horse’s own­ers fell se­ri­ously ill and re­quired im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

A lengthy de­lay en­sued af­ter Dee dis­mounted and Dr Grace Forbes ap­plied ban­dages to Ginger­nuts’ leg be­fore horse am­bu­lance ar­rived.

Ginger­nuts was trans­ported to Wer­ribee for emer­gency care as a shat­tered Dee strug­gled to rec­on­cile the in­ci­dent.

“I def­i­nitely felt it hap­pen so straight away I pulled him up and got off him as soon as I could,” he said.

“Not very nice to hap­pen to the horse. Hope­fully he comes through it OK.”

The in­ci­dent and the owner’s ill­ness over­shad­owed an ex­tra­or­di­nary Tosen Star­dom vic­tory. Weir, a man not eas­ily moved to su­perla­tives, was gob­s­macked by the im­port’s sec­ond Group 1 suc­cess of the spring, fol­low­ing the Toorak Handicap.

“It was amaz­ing, wasn’t it? That was the real Tosen Star­dom,” Weir said. “We’ve seen it at home — the blink­ers have gone on at the right time and switched him on.

“It was a head-scratcher last Satur­day (eighth in the Can­tala) but in that race, they seemed to jump out, get in their po­si­tion and stayed there.

“I said to (as­sis­tant trainer) Jar­rod (McLean), ‘I’m keen to back him up.’ He said, ‘Well there’s no rea­son why you wouldn’t.’ He’s had a great week, and it’s a great thrill and FAST­NET Tem­pest has given Bri­tish trainer Wil­liam Hag­gas his first Aus­tralian win but is set to re­main in Vic­to­ria.

The geld­ing won yes­ter­day’s Mel­bourne’s Own 3AW Tro­phy (1600m) at Flemington with Ker­rin McEvoy aboard. He will join David Hayes’ Lind­say Park team af­ter this cam­paign.

The win could be Fast­net Tem­pest’s fi­nal start for Hag- great for a horse with such a great pedi­gree to de­liver on the big stage.”

Raced by Aus­tralian Blood­stock and sev­eral of his orig­i­nal Ja­panese own­ers, Tosen Star­dom boosted his earn­ings to more than $3 mil­lion with a freak­ish turn of foot.

“The horse was great. I tell you, he would have been a good thing beat if I didn’t get out,” jockey Lane said.

“I had one run close on me. It re­ally stopped my mo­men­tum and to switch across heels and still win was just mas­sive.

“He was al­ways go­ing to be bet­ter suited back to weight­for-age and they’ve done a mag­nif­i­cent job dur­ing the week to get him to back off his Can­tala run so well. I was just the pi­lot to­day. I was lucky enough to be on board.”

Happy Clap­per and It’s Some­what filled the mi­nor plac­ings ahead of The Taj Ma­hal and luck­less Folk­wood.

But even with the de­lay and a hec­tic fin­ish, Tosen Star­dom stamped his su­pe­ri­or­ity.

“This spring, noth­ing’s gone right be­fore this spring, to be hon­est,” Weir said.

“We ran him at Moonee Val­ley (last spring), ran great. We put him on the float to go to Syd­ney, got off the float, cut his leg. Every­thing that could go wrong with the horse, went wrong with it — but it was never se­ri­ous.

“It wasn’t a knee, a fet­lock, a ten­don, gone in the wind, just nig­gling prob­lems.

“This prepa­ra­tion the con­sis­tency of the races has been great for him — fort­night, fort­night, fort­night — and then be­ing able to back up a week later af­ter a soft-ish sort of run held him in great stead to­day.”

Weir hopes Tosen Star­dom’s suc­cess will prompt Ja­panese own­ers to send more qual­ity gal­lop­ers to Aus­tralia. gas but OTI Rac­ing’s Terry Hen­der­son said the own­ers might also look to en­ter the geld­ing in next Satur­day’s Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

“It’s great for Wil­liam Hag­gas, this is his first win in Aus­tralia,” Hen­der­son said.

“And young Michael Kent has done a ter­rific job bring­ing this horse through quar­an­tine. They all should be con­grat­u­lated.”

Michael Kent Jr, son of Cran­bourne trainer Mick Kent, had an as­so­ci­a­tion with Fast­net Tem­pest when he was a pupil as­sis­tant to Hag­gas in the UK. He said it was fan­tas­tic and a re­lief to see the geld­ing win in his third start of the spring car­ni­val.

Kent has been look­ing af­ter the horse at the Wer­ribee quar­an­tine cen­tre.

“I used to ride this horse ev­ery day when I was (in the UK) and then Wil­liam gave me the call to say ‘Can you look af­ter my horse in Aus­tralia?’ I’m thrilled for the op­por­tu­nity,” Kent said.

Fast­net Tem­pest ($2.70) made his run down the out­side and then Raw Im­pulse charged late af­ter get­ting clear but missed by a half-head, with three-quar­ters of a length to Jac­quinot Bay third.

Fast­net Tem­pest wins the Mel­bourne's Own 3AW Tro­phy.

Tosen Star­dom, rid­den by Damian Lane, wins the Emi­rates Stakes. Pic­ture: MICHAEL KLEIN

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