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A good track, a midfield barrier and Sydney’s premier jockey are all positives for Toydini heading into the Epsom Handicap at Randwick.

The five-year-old came close to winning the Epsom (1600m) a year ago only to be denied in a three-way photo finish by Boban and Streama.

It was the second placing in the famous Randwick mile for owner-breeders Bob and Jan Bergstrom with Toydini’s mother Johan’s Toy runner-up in 2005.

The only downside to Toydini’s bid this year has been the loss of trainer Guy Walter who died suddenly in May and had previously prepared most of the horses from the family which began with broodmare Extra Bubbly.

The Bergstroms sent the gelding to the Hawkes family partnership and James McDonald will ride him from barrier eight on Saturday.

Toydini is the equal second $6 second favourite alongside Boban and He’s Your Man with Royal Descent the $4.60 market leader.

“Barrier eight is a good barrier for him,” Bob Bergstrom said.

“I prefer that to him being cluttered up among horses. He doesn’t like that.

“He likes room to be able to wind up with a big finish and hopefully that’s what he does on Saturday.

“The dry track is a big plus for him as well.”

The decision to send Toydini to the Hawkes team at Rosehill following Walter’s death was hard because of the circumstances but easy because of the stable’s reputation.

“He has settled in well there and seems very happy,” Jan Bergstrom said.

“We are extremely pleased to have James McDonald on. We always leave the choice of jockey to the trainer and we have come up with the best.”

Boban has barrier one in his attempt to go back-to-back carrying 5kg more than the 53kg he carried a year ago while Toydini has gone up 1.5kg to 55.5kg.

The barrier draw made little difference to markets with Victorian Star Rolling (2) firming from $15 to $13 while Cameron Handicap winner Hooked (14) eased from $15 to $17.

Hooked will run on Saturday for Sean Buckley’s Ultra Thoroughbreds which paid $600,000 for the four-year-old at Wednesday’s Patinack Farm dispersal sale.

He remains with trainer John Thompson who has a leading Group One contender, First Seal, in the Flight Stakes on Saturday.

Star Rolling will be ridden by Linda Meech at 53kg after Tye Angland gave up the battle to try to strip a couple of kilos off his already lean frame.

 
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