After the time it’s taken for Tonsor to finally get to a racetrack, trainer Matt Smith has placed minimal pressure on the late bloomer.
The four-year-old gelding belatedly launched his career successfully at Kembla Grange last month, and will now make the step up to metropolitan grade at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Although the bar has been set higher, Smith is prepared to give Tonsor his chance against more experienced rivals in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1250m).
Among them are Gadfly who has been to the races 25 times while Prima Stella is poised for her 17th start.
“That’s significant because the more racing you get, the better you get at it. What he did at Kembla was on on pure ability,” Smith said.
“I’m under no illusions. It’s a fairly significant rise in class and if he’s not good enough, I won’t disappointed.
“He’ll just keep improving as he gets over a bit more ground I think.”
A $300,000 Inglis Easter yearling, Tonsor is by champion sire Redoute’s Choice out of 2010 VRC Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse and had three trials with Newcastle trainer Paul Perry before being sent to Smith at Warwick Farm.
“He’s just been a late maturer. He was one of those horses where anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and every time it was three months out in the paddock,” Smith said.
Tonsor finally trialled for Smith in April and again last month before he powered to a three-length win in his maiden over 1200m.
“He’s still a little bit green but I was really happy with the way he picked up in the straight,” Smith said.
The TAB was also impressed and rated Tonsor as the $4.60 second elect on Tuesday behind the Chris Waller-trained Metamorphic ($4).
Tonsor is Smith’s solitary runner at Canterbury and should he stay unbeaten it will ease the trainer’s frustrations after he recorded four second placings at Warwick Farm last Wednesday.