Any concerns Begood Toya Mother might have missed a start in the Sir Rupert Clarke have been erased, with the favourite assured a place in the Group One handicap at Caulfield.
Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman targeted the race a long way out but had an anxious wait until the gelding’s place in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field was confirmed.
Saturday’s 1400m handicap attracted 18 nominations on Monday, with Begood Toya Mother 16th in the order of entry with a field limit of 16 plus emergencies.
Second favourite Age Of Chivalry is not yet guaranteed a start at No.17 in the ballot.
Bowman nominated Begood Toya Mother for Saturday’s Bill Ritchie Handicap in Sydney in case he missed a start at Caulfield.
“It has been a long-range plan to run in this race and have this race as his grand final, so it would have been disappointing to have not got a run. But we don’t have to worry about that now,” Bowman said.
Begood Toya Mother rose through the grades during a late autumn and winter campaign this year, winning five straight races to bring the Rupert Clarke into focus.
The gelding boosted his rating with a first-up win in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 17 then Bowman decided to test him in the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m).
After rolling along in front facing the breeze, Begood Toya Mother finished sixth, confirming Bowman’s thoughts he was not yet seasoned enough for weight-for-age racing.
The gelding drops seven kilograms to 52kg, with his regular jockey Declan Bates to ride.
Bowman said Begood Toya Mother took a few days to get over the tough Memsie run so he was pleased he allowed the three weeks between races heading into his main target.
“He’s in really good order. I couldn’t be happier with him,” Bowman said.
“We’ll have a better look when the barriers come out and come up with a plan but coming from 59 kilos last start, he won’t know himself down to 52.
“So he’ll roll along, probably won’t be as quick as the other day and hopefully it’s not as windy. But it will definitely be a high tempo race, as the Rupert Clarke usually is, and hopefully he’s the last one standing.”
Begood Toya Mother has firmed from $5 to $3.50 in an all-in market on Monday with the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Age Of Chivalry $6.
Best Of Days and Black Heart Bart head the weights with 58kg.