Dubai: English trainer Jamie Osborne insists he’s not running Toast of New York in this Saturday’s UAE Derby just to make up the numbers.
The three-year-old colt only just scraped a World Cup night invite after jumping from a rating of 78 to a 102 off the back of two clear wins at Wolverhampton last year. But Osborne still thinks his outsider stands a chance.
“I’d hate to think we are here just to make up the numbers,” he said. “We’ve done everything we can to make sure he brought his A game here. If we felt it isn’t happening we wouldn’t be here.
“We’ve done some good work so I’m sure he won’t be an embarrassment. Deep down there’s a chance he’s good enough, but it’s a bold shout off the back of two runs at Wolverhampton.”
Osborne said Toast of New York had the ability to outdo his last champion two-year-old Milk It Mick, who won the Dewhurst Stakes in 2003.
“The last five years we’ve lacked quality in the yard, but he began to stand out towards the end of last year. Is he better than Milk It Mick? Not yet but he could be in time. Could he be a group one winner? I’d have to say yes and this would be a good time to start showing it.”
Osborne argued that his optimism for the long shot stemmed from the UAE Derby’s unpredictability.
“With the age of these horses it’s the hardest race to get your head around. Some will be improving, some won’t. But $2 million is never given away easy so it will be a tough race.”