The Toorak Handicap is a Gr 1 Australian open handicap
horserace entered by three-year-olds and above over 1600m in early
October each year at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. It offers a
purse of AUD$350,000 and is an integral part of the Caulfield Spring
Racing Carnival, along with the Caulfield Cup.
Inaugurated in 1881, the Toorak Handicap has been run over many
distances. From 1881 until 1890 it was raced over 8 furlongs. In
1891 it was contested over 9 furlongs, while from 1892 until 1971 it
was once again run over 8 furlongs. From 1972 until now, it has been
run over 1600m.
In addition to its race distance, the Toorak Handicap has undergone
more than a few name changes. From 1881 until 1980 it was called the
Toorak Handicap, but from 1981 until 1984 it was renamed 'The IXL'.
In 1985 it was changed to 'The Elders Mile' until 1989. In 1990,
however, it was changed back to the Toorak.
Run on Guineas day, the Toorak Handicap shares a race card with the
1600m Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1) and the 2000m Yalumba Stakes (Gr 1).
Traditionally, each year the Toorak Handicap attracts good quality
runners, although more so sprinters than stayers. As such, many fine
sprinters have won this race.
Some of the more celebrated include The Trump in 1937, Royal Gem in
1946, Gunsynd in 1971 and Roman Arch in 2003. In 2006 Roman Arch won
the prestigious Australian Cup, despite going into the race a 60-1