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Upgrade pays Plenty with Toorak win

3 min read

By Bren O'Brien

A decision to upgrade his share in then promising galloper Land of Plenty (Stratum) has paid significant dividends for Clive Smith, after the 5-year-old claimed his first Group 1 success in Saturday's $500,000 Aquis Toorak Handicap.

Smith had already bought Land of Plenty once as a yearling, paying $80,000 for him from draft of Twin Palms Stud and breeders the Esplin Family at the 2015 Easter Sales and naming him after a line in the Men At Work song Down Under.

The colt had shown enough promise to contest a Caulfield and Australian Guineas, but one of the other owners was keen to sell him towards the end of his 3-year-old year.

When a 30 per cent share was put up at the Chairman's Sale last year, Smith decided to double down, paying another $32,000.

Land of Plenty didn’t win a race for another 12 months, and his career record stood at one win from 16 starts in April this year before the penny finally dropped.

After a breakthrough win at Bendigo, he added a win at Melbourne and then a Group 3 success in Adelaide in May.

With Land of Plenty in the paddock over the winter, it became clear that ambitions for the horse were to be set even higher.

"He's still a colt and a great sort of horse and they (owners) were hoping to win a Group 1." - Darren Weir

"He had a good preparation last time and he ended up winning a mile race during the Adelaide Carnival so I said to them then that we should chuck him in the paddock and head towards the spring and aim at these handicap races," Weir said.

"He was set for these races, the Rupert Clarke and the Toorak, so it's good that he's been able to get one of them for the owners. He's still a colt and a great sort of horse and they (owners) were hoping to win a Group 1."

Land of Plenty

Weir's recent record in this race is remarkable having now won four of the past five editions, with two of those winners, Trust in a Gust and Tosen Stardom now at stud.

"You can really target a horse at a handicap race like this," Weir said.

"He's a great type of horse, he's got a nice pedigree and he's still a stallion. So he's a Group 1 winner, I don't know whether it will be last one either the way he went."

"He's a great type of horse, he's got a nice pedigree and he's still a stallion." - Darren Weir

Weir indicated the G1 Kennedy Mile on the first day of the Flemington carnival was the likely next destination for Land of Plenty.

Grand campaigner Hartnell (GB) (Authorized {Ire}), coming off a win in the Epsom Hcp at his last start, was second.

Interestingly, Land of Plenty and Hartnell share a family connection through the mare Guinevere's Folly (USA), who is Land of Plenty's third dam and Hartnell's fourth.

Siege of Quebec (Fastnet Rock) finished third. in the race sponsored by his owners Aquis.