Toronado (2c High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam) confirmed himself one of the best two-year-olds of 2012 at Doncaster on Saturday when winning the G2 Champagne Stakes.
The High Chaparral colt maintained his unbeaten record with a game front-running performance to hold off the challenge of favourite Dundonnell to score by half a length in the seven-furlong contest.
Richard Hannon Junior, assistant trainer to his father, commented: “We were worried it might not be far enough for him today so I told Richard (Hughes) to go out and make it a test. The horse has done it the hard way and they all had their chance to go past him. I would say he is probably about as good a colt as we have got this year. All being well, he could come back here for the G1 Racing Post Trophy (1m, October 27). He was bought in France so there would be a premium if we went for the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, so that is another option to consider. He will be aimed at the Guineas next year and maybe the Derby. Who knows, we may have a Triple Crown horse! He is a very sound horse and the ground seems no problem for him. Physically, he is as nice a horse as you’ve seen.”
Richard Hughes added: “I always thought that he was a good horse. I can only go on feel but today he proved that he was a good horse. I was in a Catch 22 – this horse needs a mile but I wasn’t going to go fast enough to set it up for the rest. Although I wasn’t going that fast, it wouldn’t have really suited me either. He has a lovely way of galloping with a beautiful action – it’s a pleasure to be on him.”
Toronado was bred by Paul Nataf and was bought for 55,000 euros as a yearling at Arqana by agent Amanda Skiffington.