Toast Of New York could be set for a second shot at the Breeders’ Cup Classic following his fine effort in defeat at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The seven-year-old was memorably beaten just a nose by Bayern in the Breeders’ Cup showpiece back in 2014, since when he has been retired with a tendon injury only to be brought back into training after his stud career in Qatar was cut short.
He defied a three-year absence with a comeback victory at Lingfield in December, but the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park the following month proved a bridge too far.
Having been gelded in the meantime, Toast Of New York made his first start since in the Grade Three Lukas Classic over the weekend and showed he still retains plenty of ability and enthusiasm by finishing second behind Mind The Biscuits.
Trainer Jamie Osborne said: “It was a good run, and I think it was a relief more than anything that everyone’s efforts haven’t been pointed in the wrong direction.
“He’d been showing us plenty at home, but his run in the Pegasus was obviously a disaster. That day he thought he was a stallion again and was more interested in trying to cover mares than anything else. He was in completely the wrong frame of mind, and his race was blown before the start.
“We realised that if we were going to have any hope of resurrecting his racing career we had to geld him – so we did that, and it’s helped.”
Osborne is keen to see how Toast Of New York performs in training in the next few weeks before deciding whether to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic or keep his sights a little lower.
“It isn’t cast in stone that he’ll run in the Classic. He’s going to stay out in America for the next few weeks, and we’ll see how he is,” he added.
“I think there’s every chance he’ll improve for that run and if [assistant trainer] Jimmy (McCarthy) feels he’s really tightened up and he’s flying, we may well have a go at the Classic, but I don’t want to commit to it just yet. We’ll have to sit down with the Al Shaqab team and make a decision.
“If he was to go for the Classic he’ll go straight there; otherwise we could skirt around it and see what else we can find for him.”