Toronado Bests Dawn Approach in Showdown
Toronado wore down classic winner Dawn Approach in the final furlong and finally got the best of his rival on the third try in their QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) showdown July 31 at Goodwood Racecourse.
Dawn Approach grabbed the lead in the final quarter mile from pacesetting stablemate Leitir Mor, but Toronado was winding up a strong rally from fourth and charged on the outside with powerful strides. Dawn Approach gamely dug in for battle under Kevin Manning as the finish line approached, but Toronado had more energy in reserve and edged past for a half-length triumph.
In their first meeting, Toronado finished a subpar fourth to Dawn Approach in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) May 4 at Newmarket. He got to within a nose of Dawn Approach in the James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) June 18 at Royal Ascot. He would not be denied again.
"Revenge is sweet, I suppose, but they are two good horses," said Richard Hannon, who trains the winning High Chaparral colt for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani. "(Jockey) Richard Hughes said the other morning in work that he was the best he has ever ridden."
With Hughes in the saddle for the Sussex, Toronado was timed in 1:36.29 as the 11-4 second favorite on turf rated as good to soft.
Hughes echoed Hannon's sentiment on having a score to settle with Godolphin's Dawn Approach.
"It's very sweet," he said of gaining revenge. "It was a great race and, when I didn't go by him quickly I thought, 'Oh no, here we go again,' but he was very brave. He's brilliant.
"It was a true race and I was always traveling well. It was just when I went to go, it wasn't quite as instant as it is in the mornings."
Coolmore and partners' Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) victor Declaration of War, the 7-2 third choice, finished third, 2 1/2 lengths behind 10-11 favorite Dawn Approach after chasing the runner-up in the final furlong. Trainer Aidan O'Brien indicated his runner could be tried at sprint distances. Declaration of War was returning to a mile after a runner-up finish in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) last time out
Dawn Approach's trainer, Jim Bolger, said the New Approach colt was just beaten by a better horse on the day and dismissed questions about a rematch with Toronado.
"I am not concerned with a rematch," he said. "We still have to figure out exactly where we go from here. Whatever turns up, turns up. There are a couple of possibilities but time will tell all."
With the colt unbeaten in his first four career starts, Sheikh Joaan bought Toronado earlier this year from previous owners Fiona Carmichael and Chris Humber with a classics campaign in mind. With the Sussex victory, the colt improved to five wins and a second from seven career starts, including his four-length win in the Craven Stakes (Eng-III) April 18 at Newmarket in his start prior to the Guineas. Toronado also won the 2012 Champagne Stakes (Eng-II) at Doncaster.
Bred in Ireland by Paul Nataf, Toronado is out of the winning Grand Slam mare Wana Doo, a half sister to 2010 Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) winner Casamento. He was a €55,000 purchase by bloodstock agent Amanda Skiffington at the 2011 Arqana Deauville yearling sale.
Toronado is among 48 stakes winners in seven crops of racing age for Coolmore's Irish-based shuttle stallion High Chaparral.
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