They proved they were outstanding last season and today the official international handicappers confirmed that Olympic Glory (4c Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) and Toronado (4c High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam) were the world’s best three-year-old colts in 2013.
Additionally the duo, each given a rating of 125, were the best milers in Europe in 2013 according to the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
The stablemates at Richard Hannon’s Wiltshire yard, and both owned by H E Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, proved great advertisements for the talents of their sires Choisir and High Chaparral in 2013.
Olympic Glory, winner of the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a juvenile, ran out to a brilliant three-and-a-quarter length success in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October. He had also lost out by a short-head to Moonlight Cloud in the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August. He was bred by Denis McDonnell at Parkway Farm in Co Cork.
Toronado, bred by Paul Nataf, was also a high-class juvenile, winning the G2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. He enjoyed a great three-year-old season, headlined by a victory over Dawn Approach in the G1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Both stay in training in 2014, when High Chaparral could have another exciting representative. Trainer Dermot Weld has made no secret of the regard in which he holds Moyglare Stud’s home-bred Free Eagle (3c High Chaparral-Polished Gem, by Danehill).
Speaking to the Racing Post last week, Weld said of the Derby contender: “I’m delighted with the way he’s developed. He was a big colt at two and hasn’t grown any more, which pleases me. Instead he’s filled into his frame and put on a nice bit of weight.
“I think we can safely say he ran into one of the best two-year-olds in Europe (when second to Australia) so it’s not something that disheartened me. The upside was it convinced me I’d been doing the right thing in treating him as a mile and a half horse for this year. We’ll go the Ballysax and Derrinstown route and take it from there.”