Coolmore Stud shuttler High Chaparral and his champion colt Toronado started the Royal Ascot meeting with a scintillating victory in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) on Tuesday.
Toronado (4c High Chaparral-Wana Doo by Grand Slam) was sent off an odds-on favourite coming off a 300 day spell and he lived up to that rating with a powerful turn of foot passing the furlong pole.
Richard Hughes barely had to work on the colt for a cosy three-quarter length success over USA Group 1 winner Verrazano (More Than Ready). The runner-up is also destined to shuttle between Coolmore’s Irish headquarters and the Hunter Valley.
“It’s lovely to get the meeting off to a start like that,” trainer Richard Hannon said. “He did it very well and is settling much better this year. Hughesie rode him with all the confidence in the world.
“It’s great to get a win for the Sheikh Joaan. We will stick to a mile with him, the Sussex Stakes is highly likely, there’s also 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.”
Toronado was runner-up to Dawn Approach in a memorable renewal of the G1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and turned the tables in the Darley colt in the G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
High Chaparral has sired 9 Group 1 winners with fellow Coolmore shuttler So You Think topping the list with two Cox Plates and a Royal Ascot victory of his own in the 2012 St James Palace Stakes.
Toronado was bred by Paul Nataf and was a 55,000 euros buy at the 2011 Arqana yearling sale. His dam Wana Doo is a winning half-sister to G1 Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento (Shamardal). She has an unraced two-year-old filly named Cherrington (Lope De Vega).
High Chaparral colt defeats Verrazano in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes