|Veteran sprinter Toledo has been announced as the
South Australian Thoroughbred Breeders Horse of the Month for March.
The honour came following the gelding's surprise win in the Group
One Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley last month.
A spritely eight-year-old Toledo is now in the twilight of
his career according to his trainer, the former Morphettville based Russell Cameron.
Cameron was searching for the superlatives, like most
others, when his son of At Talaq crossed the line a long head in front of the multiple
Group One winner Show a Heart and another short head back to the talented Group Two winner
"He's a champion this bloke," Cameron beamed
after the race. "He was my first Group One winner a few years ago in Brisbane and he
will always hold a special part of my heart."
A member of the Aquanita training establishment, Cameron
even felt that the Australia Stakes could be Toledo's final race. "He has nothing
more to prove and it would be a good way to go out."
But Cameron and owner Kate Torr decided the
gelding would have atleast one more run. As we write he is preparing for an international
race in Singapore. He is heading back to the Asian country when he ran such a gallant
third last year in the Krisflyer Sprint.
Toledo, already a multiple South Australian Horse of the
Month in previous years, is now the winner of eight races and prizemoney of $2.15 million.
A son of At Talaq, Toledo was bred by former South
Australian David Weeks. The dual Group One winner and grand campaigner is a son of the
mighty At Talaq, who stood with great success at Lindsay Park Stud near Angaston.
At Talaq, a son of the champion European galloper Roberto,
was a Group One winner in both hemispheres. Before arriving in Australia the entire had
already won the Grand Prix de Paris over 3000 metres at Longchamp in France. North of the
equator he was also placed in the Grosser Pries von Baden at Baden Baden and the Italian
Derby at Milano. He was also fourth in the English Derby at Epsom.
During his six-year-old and final season on the track At
Talaq won the Group One double of the LKS Mackinnon Stakes and the Melbourne Cup at
Flemington. He then resumed for his final preparation by scoring a sizzling win in the
Group Two CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield. As well as those feature wins down under he also
placed in a Caulfield Cup, Australian Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
At stud At Talaq has shone. He is the sire of the
Group One winners Skating, Star of Maple, Al Mansour, Leica Smile and of course Toledo.
His other Group winners include Ticket to Rome, Prince Standaan, Fuss, Il Don, Sarason,
Staaraq, Not On Friday and Thackeray.
Toledo is out of the unraced Riverman mare Teneriffe, who
is a half sister to the Group Three American winning galloper Forever Land and the stakes
pair of Won Song and Bunker Boy.
To this day Teneriffe has had seven runners, and all have
been winners. As well as Toledo she is the dam of the Northern Hemisphere stakes winners
Less Than Zero and You Are My Sweety and the local stakes placed galloper Bart.
Her latest youngster, a bay colt by the multiple Group One
winner King of Kings, was offered and passed in at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale in
Toledo is now in the running to be crowned the Yalumba
Horse of the Year for 2002. He joins fellow monthly award winner Regal Kiss (February) as
one of the twelve finalists.
PICS - Quentin