The UK trainee, Toast Of New York, has made himself comfortable at Gulfstream Park and is in with a live chance of scoring in the planet’s richest horse race, the $16 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday (January 27).
Previously owned by Michael Buckley who is better known in the UK for his interest in jumps horses, Toast Of New York will run in the gray silks of Sheikh Joann Bin Hamad Al Thani’s racing operation, Al Shaqab.
This seven-year-old son of Thewayyouare is proven at the top level but has had an extremely unusual race preparation. Trained by Jamie Osborne in the south east of England, Toast Of New York was given a global itinerary after he showed his prowess on a synthetic surface at Wolverhampton as a juvenile. After two wins by huge margins at the track he successfully contested the 2014 UAE Derby and was the runner-up in the TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Toast Of New York’s best ever result was his very close second in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic, he was beaten a nose by Bob Baffert’s Bayern. The legendary California Chrome was a neck further back in third. The Dubai World Cup was his next intended target but a tendon injury led to his retirement from racing and a new career at stud.
Toast Of New York was purchased by Al Shaqab and spent a year enjoying stallion duties in Qatar. Meanwhile the tendon injury healed so well that Nicky Henderson, the 67-year-old champion jumps trainer in Britain, was unable to spot which leg had been affected. Osborne thinks that Henderson must have more experience of feeling horses’ legs than anyone on the planet.
In March this year Toast Of New York returned to Osborne’s barn in the UK and seemed to have lost none of his enthusiasm or ability as a racehorse. Osborne wisely took his time with his former stable star, bullying entire horses of seven rarely ends well.
After an absence from the racetrack of over three years, Toast Of New York ran at Lingfield on an all-weather synthetic course in December. He started as the second favorite and won by a length, ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time. Toast Of New York did not beat anything in particular and earned less than $17,000 for his efforts but it was enough to give his connections hope.
Osborne thought it was more than a 1000/1 chance that he would be running Toast Of New York in the Pegasus. He has done everything he can think of to prepare him for the most valuable start of his, and indeed any of these runners, career. Toast Of New York had even been wearing a daylight mask to prepare him for the brighter days at Gulfstream Park.
The very capable Italian-born Frankie Dettori is based in the UK but loves riding in the sun and will partner Toast Of New York again in the Pegasus. They have been drawn in gate nine, next to the hot favorite Gun Runner who is likely to be up with the pace. If Toast Of New York is able to get a good position in running he could be there to challenge at the finish.
The best sports betting sites for horse racing do not rate the veteran’s chances. Dettori’s mounts always tend to attract money, but Toast Of New York can be backed at 16/1 with Bovada and he may well drift to even longer betting odds by the start of this race.