THE RACE IS ON…
JAMIE OSBORNE’S Flat star, Toast Of New York, returned to the Breeders Cup fray this year, having so nearly won the Classic way back in 2014. He had had just three races in the four years since that attempt, which included an astonishing 1,130 days out of racing altogether, during which time he took up stallion duties.
An athletic future looked unlikely for “Toast” when he tore a tendon during race preparation in 2015.
“National Hunt horses can come back from that, but it’s not a great injury in a Flat racer,” says Jamie, who has guided Toast through a remarkable career. “He was retired to stud in Qatar, but he was underutilised and seemed ready to come back to us for another chance.”
It took months of meticulous preparation to make sure the stallion was fully “match hardened” for a return to the track. After winning at Lingfield in December under jockey Frankie Dettori, he then trailed in a distant last in the Pegasus World Cup.
“By the time he went in the starting stalls he had wasted so much energy trying to find a girlfriend that we more or less knew our fate,” says Jamie. “His mind was elsewhere. We had him gelded in spring, but it took him a while to get his mojo back.”
Toast finished a promising second at Churchill Downs in September. He may be a former 2014 UAE Derby winner, but does the seven-yearold still have what it takes to beat the world’s best?
“A comeback after a long break is almost unprecedented in our game,” admits Jamie. “Toast was one of the best in the world and we enjoyed a tremendous journey through his early career. I’d like to think it’s not over yet.”
Toast Of New York prepares for a tilt at a Breeders Cup race this year, returning to racing after injury curtailed his career in 2015