Group I Racing Resumes Saturday with C F Orr Stakes

As we edge inexorably closer to the resumption of Group 1 thoroughbred racing with the jump of the C F Orr Stakes (1400 m) at Caulfield weekend next, the news surrounding racing is ramping up in volume and significance.

Black Heart Bart ($5.50) will be back to defend, at least, he is listed on Ladbrokes as second favourite along with Hartnell. Ahead of final acceptances and the barrier draw, Tosen Stardom is the $4.80 favourite, but as anyone knows, a lot can happen in the final days leading up to a race.

Tosen Stardom won the Group 1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes last time out in November of 2017 and the Group 1 Toorak Handicap the month prior. The seven-year-old bay of Japanese extraction might be headed for the breeding shed soon and another Group 1 victory on his record can only enhance his value. Then again, another win might incline Darren Weir to field him for one more spring campaign.

In other news, Ef Troop and Outback Barbie are back from the Gold Coast after running third and fourth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and trainer Tony Gollan has a couple of burgeoning rockets in his stable.

The two-year-olds are from the first crop by Spirit of Boom, a horse that Gollan trained for two Group 1 wins.

Gollan told the AAP, “I was very pleased with them when I saw them last week. If they are going to Sydney they had to come back into the stable this week. If I continue to be happy with them I will give them the green light for a Sydney trip.”

Gollan’s path with the two is fairly straightforward. “Ef Troop will run in the Todman Stakes (March 10) and then on to the Golden Slipper two weeks later,” he said.”Outback Barbie will run in the Reisling on the same day as the Todman and then also on to the Slipper.”

Riders for the Sydney races have not been determined, but Gollan is leaning in the direction of using locals jockeys from Sydney.

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