Toronado (4c High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam) made an impressive seasonal return with a scintillating victory in the mile G1 Queen Anne Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot.
Sent off a red-hot 4/5 chance for the opening highlight of the five-day meeting, Richard Hannon’s colt was held up at the rear before unleashing a powerful turn of foot to take the advantage passing the furlong pole.
Richard Hughes barely had to work on the son of High Chaparral, who ran on well for a cosy three-quarter length success over dual US Grade One winner Verrazano.
“It’s lovely to get the meeting off to a start like that.” commented Hannon, celebrating a first Royal Ascot success in his first season as a trainer. “He did it very well and is settling much better this year. Hughesie rode him with all the confidence in the world.
“I was nervous this morning, I feel a bit better now. It’s great to get a win. It’s great for the Sheikh, he’s put a lot of money in and it’s nice to see him get his reward.
“We’ll stick to a mile with him, the Sussex Stakes is highly likely, there’s also the Marois but Olympic Glory will probably run in that and then later there’s the QEII and the Breeders’ Cup.
“He is every bit as good as any horse we have ever had. Just look at him, the stature of the horse. I was quoted saying that he looks like Superman. He does – almost superhuman – a hell of a horse. He is the real deal. He has shown a massive turn of foot today.”