Tonto has launched his G2 WA Guineas campaign with a determined first-up victory in the Westspeed 3YO Hcp (1300m) at Belmont.
It completed a hat-trick for the son of Vinery sire Onemorenomore who had won at Pinjarra and Ascot prior to a winter spell. “I couldn’t believe the price,” trainer Lou Luciani admitted as the gelding returned to scale on Saturday. “I just kept shaking my head when they put up $7.50.”
Tonto (3g Onemorenomore – Grier Garsonne by Arena) sat midfield on the fence before angling into the clear for a convincing victory over Liberty Rise (Blackfriars). “It was a big effort with 59.5kg,” Luciani added. “He’s still just a big kid and that was a real confidence builder.
“I want to give him a soft lead-up to the WA Guineas instead of going through races like the Belgravia Stakes.”
This year’s $400,000 WA Guineas (1600m) will be run at Ascot on Saturday, November 22.
Luciani prepares Tonto for Amelia Park’s Peter Walsh and owner-breeders Colin Hounsell and Colin Crossley. He is a younger half-brother to LR WATC Melvista Stakes (2200m) winner Lethal Jones.
Crossley was also in the syndicate that raced the Luciani trained filly Moccasin Bend (Eternity Range) to the Belgravia – WA Guineas double in 2008.
Tonto’s sire Onemorenomore is a son of Vinery foundation sire Red Ransom and he was a Group 1 winner over 1600 metres in the 2009 Champagne Stakes at Randwick. Vinery stands him for a $13,200 (inc gst) fee.