TORONADO STRIKES WITH FOUR WINNERS IN 24 HOUR BLITZ
Toronado brought plenty of festive cheer to Swettenham Stud after the stunning looking stallion produced four winners in a 24 hour blitz.
The rapid sequence of wins - two at Caulfield on Tuesday, December 18 and then another two the following day at Warrnambool - further enhanced the stallion’s ever growing reputation and popularity with breeders and trainers as he continues to rack up victories.
With his job finished in the breeding barn at Swettenham Stud at Nagambie for another season after he served 200 mares, the highly rated son of High Chaparral was this week loaded onto a plane bound for the Haras de Bouqetot in France to prepare for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season.
The dual Group 1 winning miler produced winners in both maidens at Caulfield with victories in races one and two. He first scored for Team Hawkes when $2.45 favourite, the three year-old gelding Masked Crusader won over 1200m at his second start.
Toronado followers didn’t have to wait long for his next win as it came 30 minutes later when filly Mrs Beckham won over 1440m. The cleverly named three year-old filly, out of the mare Posh, also started favourite at $2.10 for Flemington training partners Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra.
The Toronado buzz continued just 24 hours later when the Lindsey Smith trained Toronado filly Elderflower showed the punters had it right when she won over 1000m at the skinny odds of $1.45 at her first start.
Ballarat trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace produced three year-old Toronado gelding High Delta in the next race over 1400m. He broke his maiden status at just his second start and was at the more generous odds of $10.
Swettenham Stud’s sales and nominations manager, Sam Matthews, said the double century of mares served by Toronado this season was his biggest book and came at the time when his service fee had increased.
“He has done an exceptional job and there is a limited number that have gone to the sales, so we have go the only two at the Sydney Classic and there are none at the Magic Millions and we have five of 11 going to Melbourne Premier,” Matthews said.
“The ones that are yearlings now are from the smallest book that he covered so I would say they would be pretty well sort after at the sales.’’
Toronado had his opening season at Swettenham in 2014 and stood for $20,000 in his four seasons and it increased to $25,000 this year.
His biggest book of mares before this year was his first season when he served 175 mares, compared to 167 last year.
“This season is probably his best quality book,” Matthews said.
“He covered the dam of Shoot Out (Pentamerous). And he probably covered a dozen dams of either Group 1 or Group 2 winners, and even Group 1 and Group 2 winners themselves, and the quality was amazing.
“And what we are proud of is that we didn’t bump a single mare and every mare that wanted to go to him, got in. To cover 200 mares and not let only one down, it was pretty exciting not to have to make those calls.
“Hopefully those people will get a good reward.”
While Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster has always been extremely confident of Toronado’s ability to make it as a stallion, Matthews said there had never been any doubt in the market place about the progeny.
He said people had been able to see the progeny all the way through from foals, to weanlings to yearlings and racehorses.
“It’s always good when you get a good book in the first year and you get the support in the ring straight away,’’ Matthews said.
“The service fee increase was warranted because it allowed all those who had supported him to benefit. Everything that was in foal and every foal on the ground and yearling was then worth a little bit more to them."
Matthews said Toronado’s fertility was exceptional and he’d finish with a conception rate of around 92/93 percent. None of the stud’s stallions dipped below 85 percent.
Swettenham’s emerging stallion Puissance de Lune came under notice during the Spring Carnival when three year-old filly Moonlight Maid finished third in the Group 1 VRC Oaks and Southern Moon’s second in the Group 1 Victoria Derby. Both are trained by young Ballarat trainer Mitch Freedman.
Moonlight Maid gave Puissance de Lune his first Australian winner when she won on debut over 1240m at Geelong on June 14. And then in October she provided both the stallion and Freedman with their first stakes win when she took out the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes, coming from last to first at Flemington.
Matthews said Puissance de Lune covered 155 mares this season and the demand is sure to grow.
Highland Reel served around the 100 mark, Akeed Mofeed 140, while Sioux Nation and Trust In A Gust also covered good books of quality mares.