Third Time Toronado‏

Toronado 615 X 400
Photo: Steven Cargill


Toronado finally turned back his old adversary Dawn Approach as he thrust his neck in front for a smooth and impressive Group 1 victory in the Sussex Stakes.

Twice before the duo of Dawn Approach and Toronado had lined up in battle and twice before it was the Irish challenger that had reigned supreme, but with Toronado significantly reducing the defecit at Royal Ascot hopes were high in the Richard Hannon camp that their star colt may finally turn the tables at a track which has graciously been kind to the team over the years.

Billed as the 'Duel of the Downs', the race provided an exceptional mid-season climax for a Classic division that, Dawn Approach aside, has suffered through inconsistency of its competitors. On Wednesday the hopes and dreams of the Hannon team finally came true as the comeback king finally dethroned the Champion Elect.

"They are two top class horses. I told Hughsie to drop in, it was the only thing he could do from that draw," said Richard Hannon. "It was looking difficult two furlongs out but our horse has a hell of a turn of foot. Hughsie rode him four or fice days ago and said he was the best he'd every ridden. We'll see how he comes out of this, but the Jacques Le Marois and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes are the obvious races. He'll stick to a mile this year but he'll stay in training next season where perhaps he could step up to ten furlongs at some point."

Richard Hughes had long claimed that Toronado was the best horse he had ever ridden, a bold statement from a jockey whom has partnered the likes of Canford Cliffs to a string of exceptional performances in victory, and on the glorious downs of Chichester Hughes was finally proved right.

"He's proven he's a brilliant horse. My plan was 'wide, fast and late' and it worked. I didn’t want to get into a battle with Dawn Approach so I wanted to get there late and fast," said Richard Hughes, a jockey who contines to ride the Goodwood track with utter perfection and has a total of four wins at the Glorious Goodwood meeting thus far. "On things like Twitter you can get slagged off, but I love my horses. I hate it when people slag them off and Lizzie [Hughes - wife] knows how much I think of this horse. There was a lot of pressure on today as there were no excuses if he got beat today. I thought his reputation would be ruined if he didn't win today, so there was a lot riding on it."

The performance of Toronado in this season's opening showpiece was but a blip on the progression radar of the son of High Chaparral who cast his line to reel in the phenomenal presence of Dawn Approach after the latter's scintillating English 2,000 Guineas victory. Now, as the season passes its mid-season point, the rivals stand side by side in battle.

A year after the presence of Frankel had captured a nation, the rivalry of Dawn Approach and Toronado is one which British racing can enjoy as the duo of rivals take dead aim on the QIPCO British Champions Day for the ultimate end of season battle in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, a race which will formerly crown the champion once and for all. 


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Older Comments about Third Time Toronado‏...

I would have to go with Dawn Approach's 2000.
Here's some food for thought, and I think an interesting question open for all to answer. Among these choices, who's produced the most impressive performance so fat this season at G1 level at a mile: Dawn Approach in the G1 English 2000 Guineas, Farhh in the G1 Lockinge Stakes, Declaration of War in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes, or Toronado in the G1 Sussex Stakes? I'm interested to see who gets the most votes among my fellow HRN web-site viewers?
  • ILuvTurfRacing · To break the ice, my pick is Dawn Approach in the G1 English 2000 Guineas just narrowly edging out Farhh's win in the G1 Lockinge Stakes. · 1568 days ago
  • ILuvTurfRacing · It would be awesome to see Farhh in the same race against Toronado, Dawn Approach, & Declaration of War at G1 level over a mile, but I have a strong suspension that Godolphin will go out of their way to make sure that Dawn Approach & Farhh don't wind up in the same field together, IMO. · 1568 days ago
And I do hope he runs in the BC Mile!
  • ILuvTurfRacing · @yukichan, It's a long time until November and I'm not saying a lot of things could change between now and then, but to date the only Richard Hannon trained I've heard being considered for a tilt at the BC Mile is the 3yo Montiridge that won the G3 Thoroughbred Stakes just today at Goodwood. · 1568 days ago
Third time watching this race, and it just gets better. Toronado looked hell-bent on getting the best of Dawn Approach and did.
I am a big fan of High Chaparral, and all his progeny. So happy Toronado won, and I agree with Dan about So You Think and his abilities.
As gigantic fans of So You Think as we both are, Dan, do you find yourself loving Toronado just because of a shared sire ... and oh yeah, a shared immense talent?
  • DanMunn1 · Not sure if it's because he's sired by HC or not really, Bri. I loved SYT because of his running style, cracking burst of speed off a bend in Aus, whereas this guy is the perfect horse for Hughes. Nice turn of foot, digs down, never idles in front. He will be a great asset next year too · 1570 days ago

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