Toomuchtobear surprises with a first-up win

Chris Waller saddled up five of the nine runners in the ATC Thanks John Williams Handicap and two of the least fancied fought out the finish.

Toomuchtobear ($10) overhauled stablemate Sur La Mer ($10) by a short neck with the Richard Litt-trained Black Duke ($11) another short head away third in a driving finish.

Having his first start since scoring over 2000m at Kembla Grange in September, Toomuchtobear was expected to need further than the 1400m of Saturday’s race, but the solid tempo set by leader Supremo ensured the backmarkers came into play.

He charged late for apprentice Reece Jones in a return that convinced Waller he could measure up to a race like the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) in February.

“I didn’t expect him to win first-up today but you can’t beat talent and that’s what he has got,” Waller said.

“He has got a good record and I don’t think it’s going to stop there either.

“He’s on track to win a Parramatta Cup in February. That will be his race.”

Sur La Mer proved she was up to Saturday company with her fast-finishing second, while three-year-olds Starman ($2.70 fav) and Sacrimony ($3.50), who finished fourth and fifth respectively, raced below expectations.

“They were a little bit plain late,” Waller said.

“Starman was just a little bit keen. Sacrimony, he might have just felt the pinch at the 1400.

“Sacrimony will go for a spell and we will push on with Starman. He is a Magic Millions (Guineas) horse.”

Waller’s other runner, Sacred Command ($13), finished seventh.

Jones, who recently returned to the saddle after fracturing his wrist in a trackwork incident, was thrilled to land his second winner for Sydney’s premier trainer after partnering New Arrangement to victory for Waller at Randwick in July.

He is hoping to be a more regular visitor to town over the summer and believes Toomuchtobear can go on with the job.

“If he can continue how he’s going and really hit the line like he did today, he will be a nice horse,” Jones said.

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