Relishing every inch of his step up to 2400m at Sandown on Wednesday, the promising stayer Token Spirit stamped himself as a horse to follow with a convincing victory in the Clanbrooke Racing Handicap.
Settling last of the six runners, the bay was patiently steered by Jamie Kah who had him into the clear early in the straight, a position from which he was able to make a long, sustained run at his rivals.
Joining the lead with 150m to go, Token Spirit got clear over the final stages, his winning margin an impressive 1 1/2 lengths.
“Robbie called me beforehand and filled me with confidence,” Kah reported, adding that she was happy throughout the run.
“The small field was perfect for him, he could settle a bit closer whilst still being relaxed. Everything worked out perfectly for him, the others improved before the turn and gave me a lovely cart into it.”
“He is a horse with a future,” she added.
Mathew De Kock agrees, noting that “he has been a little frustrating in that we thought he would’ve won another race by now. He is a talented horse who has run some very good races, especially in the Derby.”
A close up sixth in that Flemington Classic last spring, Token Spirit had de Kock happy a long way from home at Sandown.
“The way the race set up today was good for him, from the 600m I was thinking that this is perfect and as the race was unfolding we were getting more and more confident.”
“Hopefully this win gives him a lot of confidence,” he continued, adding that the final of the Banjo Paterson Series for stayers is now on the agenda although a back up at Flemington Saturday is also a consideration.
Bred by Gilgai Farm (also breeders of our Gr.1 sprinter The Quarterback), Token Spirit is by Snitzel’s Australian Guineas winner Wandjina who recently located to Larneuk Stud, Victoria.
A $300,000 graduate of the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, he is out of the Queensland Oaks winning Keeper mare Miss Keepsake, also dam of our smart mare Collectable.
Served last spring by So You Think having produced a colt by that same in-form stallion in October, Miss Keepsake is a half-sister to the New Zealand Gr.2 winner Villifye from one of Australasia’s finest families; that of the big race winners Lonhro, Grosvenor, Niello, Lankan Rupee and National Gallery.