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Of some of the most popular sires in the long history of Victorian breeding, 2015 newcomer Toronado (Ire) to enterprising Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud may have received the biggest welcome (173 mares).
A resident at England’s historic National Stud, the one at Newmarket at which sixty years ago Never Say Die, a Nasrullah English Derby winner given to the British Government by his owner, in a twenty year reign as a sire became a significant breed shaper,Toronado challenges as the busiest first season visiting sire used in Victoria.
This son of dual hemisphere used High Chaparral (by Sadler’s Wells) may also have had the biggest book,158 (146 in foal), given to a new National Stud sire in his first season at Newmarket. It was one that included four each Group1 and 2 winners and many other fashionable mares.The Queen sent three.
Toronado’s support at home and in Australia is not surprising as he was a high grade performer up to 1600m in three seasons of racing, has breeding that is fashionable in both hemispheres and is ‘an imposing physical specimen, a well made attractive colt.’
At the races he had 12 starts for six wins, all three outings at two, including the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. At three, he concluded the year with being accoladed with Olympic Glory, a newcomer to Arrowfield in 2015, as the best male performer in the age group in the World Rankings, and on his own as Timefom’s best colt (rated 133, one above Olympic Glory).
133 was the peak Timeform rating accorded High Chaparral’s ten times Group 1 winning New Zealand bred dual hemisphere performed and sire used son So You Think. He had 168 mares in his first season at Coolmore Hunter Valley and has first crop 2-year-olds.
Toronado earned his high distinction at three with wins in the Group1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood (beat five lengths Two Thousand Guineas winner Dawn Approach) and Group 3 Craven Stakes by four lengths at Newmarket, a short head second to Dawn Aproach in the Group1 St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal Ascot Carnival and a fourth in the English Two Thousand Guineas.
Toronado wound up his racing with four Group1 efforts at four, a win in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot (first up after ten months off; 4-5 fav), seconds in the Sussex at Goodwood and Prix de Moulin de Longchamp (head, 8-10 fav) and a mid field placing in the American Breeders’ Cup Mile (21-10 fav).
Acclaimed as having run faster times in his Group1 wins than Frankel, Europe’s unbeaten superstar, Toronado is almost a replica of him. Both are by sons of Sadler’s Wells.
Toronado is from Wana Doo, a winner at Lonchamp and Deauville in France by Grand Slam, a dual Group1 winning American 2-year-old, Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner up by one of Mr. Prospector’s most influential sons, Gone West.
The second dam, Wedding Gift, is a stakes winning half-sister by the Danzig sire Always Fair to Black Tokk, an Ireland bred mare who in Australia produced stakes winners French Clock (won SAJC Goodwood Handicap-G1) and Dream About It (won Ballarat Cup, second Tasmanian Oaks).
Dream About It is the grandam of the good Show a Heart gallopers Heart of Dreams (6 wins, two Group1s, $1,648,110) and Rightyfully Yours (10 wins, $555,601).
Toronado’s fourth dam Regal Lady is a half-sister to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner and influential sire Vaguely Noble. It is a principal branch of the celebrated Brulette Family.