Progressive Dubbo gelding Toulon Brook will take the first step in a campaign geared towards the Country Championship when he resumes in the Highway Handicap at Randwick.
The lightly raced son of Hinchinbrook has shown promise winning three of his seven starts, rounding out his most recent preparation with a Highway Handicap victory on the Kensington track in August.
Trainer Kody Nestor is hopeful Toulon Brook can earn his way into the Country Championships Final (1400m) at Randwick on April 4.
“He’s on the trail for it. That’s what we’ve targeted with a few of ours and you’re mad if you don’t, especially with the heats being worth a bit of money,” Nestor said.
“He will start off his prep there tomorrow and we’ll pick and choose a few races for him and hopefully get to the championships heat third or fourth up.”
Toulon Brook is proven fresh and Nestor believes the four-year-old is poised to deliver on his promise this campaign.
A handful as a younger horse, he has needed time to mature but after riding him in his final gallop on Tuesday, Nestor has given his tick of approval.
His biggest hurdle on Saturday is a wide draw of 15 which the former jockey admits the horse will need luck to overcome.
“He’s taken a while to learn what the caper is all about. That’s why he’s only had seven starts, but I reckon this prep he will put it all together,” Nestor said.
Toulon Brook was $7 with TAB fixed odds on Friday and a win would continue a good run for the stable which has produced doubles at Dubbo and Wellington in the past few weeks while coping with drought conditions in central NSW.