THURSDAY: October 20, 2022: GARRY Frazer wasn’t kidding!
“It’s been a good couple of days,” he said after Tocomah had stylishly won on his home track at Hawkesbury today.
A dual licence holder and multiple Group 1 winning thoroughbred trainer, Frazer won a 401m Fifth Grade race at Richmond greyhounds yesterday afternoon with Real Steel ($3), then switched codes today and made it a double to remember.
And he cleverly plotted a plan to get the lightly-raced Tocomah ($5.50) back into the winning list in the Turtle Nursery & Landscape Supplies Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
The five-year-old had been runner-up at his previous starts over 1100m, at Wyong on September 2 and Hawkesbury 20 days later.
“Tocomah’s owner Greg White wasn’t sure about bringing him back to 1000m, but I trained him accordingly,” Frazer said this evening.
“I kept him fresh and Tyler (Schiller) gave him a great ride.
“It was good to see Tocomah show the ability I know he has.
“He is sound now, but wasn’t early on and 12 months out made the world of difference.”
Tocomah was being prepared for a Magic Millions yearling sale, but cut his hind leg in a paddock accident.
The injury was severe enough to prevent him being offered at that sale, and took quite a while to heal.
Then when he went to Frazer to be broken in, he kept going sore in the front joints and x-rays revealed he was arthritic even though he was only two years of age.
Instead of a recommended three months’ rest, Robrick Lodge’s Greg White left him out for 12 months, hence his late entry into racing.
Tocomah created a big impression at only his second start when a five lengths’ winner of a Maiden Plate (1100m) at Gosford on July 25 last year as a late three-year-old, then finished last of eight runners at a Saturday metropolitan meeting at Kembla Grange on August 14 in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m).
Frazer turned him out after that defeat, and did not race him again until May this year.
Now that Tocomah has found winning form again, Frazer has to decide whether to chase a midweek race in town or attempt to make it two in a row at Hawkesbury’s Ladies’ Day Cup meeting on November 3.
“Tyler Schiller is adamant he is up to at least midweek company, especially at Canterbury where he would be suited as they usually run along,” Frazer said.
“But there is also a Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) coming up at home.
“I’ll have to see how many benchmark points he is given for today’s win.”
Frazer has long been singing the praises of last Saturday’s The Kosciuszko winning rider Schiller, saying he is the best apprentice he has seen since his son-in-law Tye Angland, an 11-time Group 1 winning rider before a horror Hong Kong fall in 2018 left him a quadriplegic.
“There is no lair at all in Tyler; he is a great kid,” Frazer said.
“I use him on my horses whenever I can.”
Tocomah was held up rounding the home turn in today’s race and in the early part of the straight before Schiller switched the gelding back to the inside rail to secure clear running.
Tocomah burst through and was strong to the line to defeat other $5.50 chances King Of Naples and Enzina, taking his record to two wins and five placings from 10 starts.