Touchdown! Toast Of New York settles in well at Gulfstream base
Toast Of New York emerged on Saturday from his required 48 hours quarantine at Miami International airport and has settled in well at Gulfstream Park, where next weekend he will take on the mighty Gun Runner in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup.
Having flown to Florida via Luxembourg on Thursday, he arrived at Gulfstream Park in the early evening on Saturday and celebrated the completion of his journey with a roll in the shavings on the floor of the isolation barn.
The long journey was no great worry to connections, since Toast Of New York travelled to Dubai to win the UAE Derby at the start of his three-year-old campaign, and then made three transatlantic trips the same year, with his season ending with his nose second to Bayern in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita.
Nevertheless, there will no doubt be an element of relief in the camp now that such an important stage of his bold adventure has been completed successfully.
Jimmy McCarthy, trainer Jamie Osborne's right-hand man and Toast Of New York's regular work-rider, has been happy with the way the seven-year-old travelled and said the roll in the stall is a standard move by the horse.
McCarthy said: "He's pretty good, most of the time. He's pretty chilled out, a good traveller, a good tourist. He's done plenty of it, he's pretty good on the road."
Toast Of New York returned from 1,130 days off the track to win a conditions race at Lingfield last month, having retired with a tendon injury and spent a season at stud in Qatar.
The tendon injury healed so well that Osborne revealed that even Nicky Henderson, who he reckons "must have felt more legs than just about anyone alive", could not tell which leg it had been on, and while the form of his Lingfield defeat of Petite Jack would fall a long way short of what will be required on Saturday, he has thrived since.
Indeed, Osborne believes Toast Of New York has worked at least as well as he ever did in his prime, and is convinced he has a live chance in the richest race in the world, with the trainer describing the position he finds himself in now as "beyond our wildest dreams".
McCarthy confirmed: "He's been very good. He took the run pretty well and all his work since has been good. He's been doing all the things he used to do. Where that puts him, we'll find out, but we're very happy with him."
Toast Of New York is a general 16-1 shot, with Breeders' Cup Classic winner Gun Runner a best-priced 10-11 to end his career with a sixth Grade 1 success.
Osborne left no stone unturned in his bid to ensure Toast Of New York was as well prepared as possible for his trip, including using a light mask to extend his hours of daylight during Britain's short winter days so that he would be ready for the longer, warmer days in Florida.
He said: "If someone had convinced me that stuffing £50 notes up his backside would have made him run faster I would have done that too."
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