MOREE clerk of the course Andrew Gray says his job can be very trying at times, especially when his pride and joy – emerging topliner Toriuss – races on her home track.
Leading winners back to the enclosure is always a rewarding task but, when the winner is your own horse, the experience goes to a whole new level.
Mind you, he says, the race-finish view from the other side of the racecourse can cause a few heart murmurs in a tight finish – and that’s exactly what Toriuss supplied when she staved off all-comers to win the 1200m Purewater Moree Class 2 handicap on Sunday.
“You don’t really get to see a lot from over there (near the 1300m start), and it didn’t look like she got there real easy – things didn’t look good,” Gray grinned.
“It looked like she had them covered about 50m out but the other one kicked up on the inside and that made the finish interesting.”
Gray owns Toriuss in partnership with Danny and Johnny Bourke and together they’ve watched the Nathan Sinclair-trained mare reel off impressive wins at Moree (twice) and Tamworth, all under the guidance of Port Macquarie hoop Terry Treichel.
Sinclair said Toriuss was “all class”.
“She seemed to be struggling halfway down the straight,” Sinclair said.
“I thought they were going to get her and, for a while there, I thought she’d run third.
“She was the widest runner but it does favour the outside horses here so we were lucky that way.
“But she’s all class and she tries all the time – a real trier,” he said.
Toriuss (7-4 on fav) prevailed in a blanket finish to score by a short-half head from It’s Game On (20-1) with Stratospheric (6-1) a similar margin away third.
Treichel, who also won on Garnett Taylor’s Lucky Leish and Mark Mason’s Dayzari on Sunday, said Toriuss would prove an exceptional horse next
“It was a good, hard ding-dong battle and she fought on quite well,” he said.
“When she loomed up she was really going to let down well but the other one on the inside kicked back.
“I think she will be more of a horse next time in.
“She’ll be more mature and it will give her a chance to fill out and have a think about
“Her next prep will be her best, more than likely,” Treichel said.
Gray said a rest was probably the next move for the unbeaten mare.
“We might give her a little freshen-up,” he said.
“She’s done enough in her first preparation, and you can’t ask for much more – three TAB wins from three starts.”