A favourable barrier draw for the first time this campaign has trainer Peter Moody buoyant about the Toorak Handicap chances of former Macau galloper Luen Yat Forever.
The six-year-old, who is still a maiden in Australia, has run well from outside gates at his first two spring starts and Moody is expecting some favours from barrier three in Saturday’s Group One 1600-metre event.
TAB Sportsbet has posted him $6 second favourite to stablemate King’s Rose ($4.20) and Moody says Luen Yat Forever is “going super”.
“He wasn’t far away in this race (fourth) last year when he was trained from Macau and his last two runs have been tremendous from bad gates,” Moody said.
First-up Luen Yat Forever settled with the last four horses and was a fast-finishing fourth to Pinnacles over 1400 metres at Caulfield on August 27 and last start ran his last 600 metres in 33.35 seconds to finish fifth to Toorak Toff in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield .
“From the draw he should be able to race in a more prominent position whereas he’s had to go back to nearly last at both runs this time,” Moody said.
“He has got a big one (race) in him and his work has been super.
“Don’t discount him.”
Moody said King’s Rose was over a slight blood disorder which prevented her from running in last Saturday’s Epsom Handicap and had since worked impressively on the track.
“She has done everything we have asked of her since she came over from New Zealand and is unbeaten in three starts at a mile (1600m),” Moody said.
“I thought she was pretty well weighted in this race and the form around her has stood up well.”
At her only two Australian starts for Moody she won the Group Two Memsie Stakes (1400m) and then beat Pinker Pinker and Lady Lynette in the Group Two Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Moody said barrier one was some concern as she would need luck to get off the fence.
He said the Toorak would give King’s Rose two weeks to the Cox Plate (2040m) or three weeks to the Group One Myer Classic (1600m) for mares, depending on which target he aims her at.