Toronado heads Ascot opener
Richard Hannon’s Toronado is the stand out name in the ten entries received for the opening race of Royal Ascot, the Queen Anne Stakes. Beaten just a short head in the St James’s Palace Stakes at last year’s meeting, Toronado would go on to win the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on his next start before struggling when upped to 1m 2f in the Juddmonte at York on his final start.
The 4yo will be back over his favoured trip of a mile for his reappearance run on Tuesday and will be joined in the line-up by stablemate Producer, who has not been seen since taking a Group 2 in Turkey last September and who will have the aid of Ryan Moore in the saddle. Sky Lantern and Olympic Glory were among more stablemates to be withdrawn.
Toronado’s main market is American import Verrazano for last season’s winning trainer Aidan O’Brien. A two time Grade 1 winner in his native land, Verrazano made a very encouraging start to life on European soil when a fine 3rd behind the aforementioned Olympic Glory in the Lockinge at Newbury last month.
South Sfrican raider Soft Falling Rain, well beaten in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Royal Ascot last year is next market, with Lockinge runner up Tullius and French raider Anodin the only other two given any chance by the bookmakers.
Sabrina Harty’s Ansgar, Kevin Ryan’s Glory Awaits, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Mull Of Killough and Andrew Balding’s second runner Side Glance complete the field of ten.
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
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