Cherry Tortoni retains unbeaten record

Daughter of Night Of Thunder provides stallion with 15th stakes winner.

CHERRY TORTONI winning the Kennedy Taj Rossi Series Final in Flemington, Australia.
CHERRY TORTONI winning the Kennedy Taj Rossi Series Final in Flemington, Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

Former Darley Stud shuttler Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) was provided with his 15th stakes winner - third in Australia - when his son Cherry Tortoni (2 g ex Tortoni by Strategic) retained his unbeaten record in the Taj Rossi Series Final Handicap (Listed, 1600m) at Flemington. 

A winner of his two previous starts, the Patrick Payne-trained Cherry Tortoni chalked up his third win when he beat Alcyone (Teofilo) by a nose with Johnny Get Angry (Tavistock) another length and three quarters adrift in third. 

Payne said he will now give Cherry Tortoni a short break and plot a spring path.

"When (breeder and part-owner) Sandy Tait sent him to me he said this is one of the nicest horses I've sent down," Payne said.

"He could be a Derby horse. I'll be guided by him.

"I'm not sure how good he'd be against the smarter three-year-olds over 1200 or 1400 metres so I'll give him short break and look to an early spring mile race."

Bred by Sandy Tait and raced by Tait and Jill Nivison, the gelding is one of two winners out of winning Strategic (Zeditave) mare Tortoni, who is herself out of Group 1 winner Whisked (Whiskey Road) who, in addition to the aforementioned Tie The Knot, produced Listed-winning duo Hood (Shamardal) and Dream Ballad (Singspiel). 

In 2018 Tortoni produced a filly by former Twin Hills Stud resident Bobby's Kitten (Kitten's Joy), before foaling a filly by Coolmore Stud shuttler Churchill (Galileo) the following season and she has most recently be covered by Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy). 

Night Of Thunder, clearly the leading second season sire in Europe is also firing in Australia with eight winners from 17 runners and is currently firing at an extraordinary strike rate of 55.9 per cent winners to runners and Cherry Tortoni joins the stallion's other southern hemisphere crop stakes winners; A Beautiful Night and River Night. 

The son of Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) - whose global stakes winners count stands at 15 - stood in Australia for one season in 2016 - leaving 58 foals - and he now resides exclusively at Darley's Kildangan Stud in Ireland where his fee for 2020 was set at €25,000. It was announced earlier in the week that he would also be available to cover to southern hemisphere time.

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