THE RACE IS ON…

Horse & Hound - - Making A Comeback -

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

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