CONNECTIONS of Wiltshire-trained horse Toormore feel they have found a golden opportunity for last season's champion two-year-old to collect some lucrative prize money when he lines up in the International Topkapi Trophy at Veliefendi in Turkey on Sunday.
The three-year-old, trained by Collingbourne Ducis handler Richard Hannon has not quite lived up to expectations this term after winning the Craven Stakes on his seasonal debut, but looks to have a great chance of landing this Group Two prize over a mile.
"He's in great shape. I've had photos of the horse sent to me from over there and he looks to be really enjoying himself," said Tim Palin, racing manager of Middleham Park Racing.
"He went out there on Tuesday and since he got there he's done fast canters and has eaten and drank. He's taken it all in his stride.
"If the real Toormore turns up he's probably got a favourite's chance and the ground should be fine for him.
"The prize-money is fantastic out there and the alternative was to go to Ireland for half the prize money and for what could have been a more competitive race. The prize-money is only down to fourth but if he finished fourth or better than he will have covered the cost of sending him over.
"Jim Pak, who owns half the horse, is having a great time out there.
"Toormore is clear on the ratings and is getting the 5lb age allowance from the older horses. He's in the right race and we always try to do that."
Four of Toormore's six rivals are British-based - last year's 2000 Guineas runner-up Glory Awaits, Belgian Bill, Ayaar and Our Channel.
The Hannon team have hopes of success in the other Group Two on the card, the International Bosphorus Cup, with Pether's Moon.
The four-year-old, among a field of six for the mile-and-a-half contest, won the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood only to disappoint in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury three weeks ago.
The other British challenger in the race is Godolphin's Excellent Result, from Saeed bin Suroor's stable, who struck with Lost In The Moment 12 months ago.