Horse Racing

TOONA CILIATA: A 'Prince Consort' in waiting

Observer staff reporter

Friday, March 22, 2019

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THE campaign for the upcoming native-bred three-year-old Classic series of races got a needed shot in the arm when chestnut gelding Toona Ciliata staked his credentials with an impressive victory in the 28th running of the Prince Consort Stakes on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Caymanas Park.

The Classic races get under way on April 13 with the running of the 1000 Guineas (fillies) and April 14 with the running of the 2000 Guineas (colts and geldings).

After finishing second by three parts of a length to Father Patrick in the Sir Howard Stakes over six furlongs (1,200m) last month, Toona Ciliata returned on Saturday a much-improved animal and turned the tables on his nemesis, and in the process of winning had his highly rated and odds on favourite stable companion Earn Your Stripes behind him.

Toona Ciliata ( Soul Warrior Red Gold), ridden by Shane Ellis, won the Graded Stakes event for colts and geldings over seven furlongs (1,400m) in a smart time 1:25.4 with splits of 24.0 and 46.0.

“The performance by Toona Ciliata was good because he did all the dirty work. We didn't want to sit behind Father Patrick, instead, we wanted to at least try and get him ( Father Patrick) to do some work early on rather than just control the speed from in front of us.

“He did it and, the horse ( Father Patrick) overtook him ( Toona Cilaita) and he wore him back down again and that is a sign of a fighter and I always love horses that maybe lack a bit of talent but are 100 per cent fighters,” trainer Anthony Nunes said.

While Nunes thinks Toona Cilaita hasn't yet reached the level of Supreme Soul, his stable companion, the run by Toona Ciliata has now opened a door.

“He [ Toona Ciliata] is a nice colt and I still think Supreme Soul is still ahead of him at this stage. We are yet to see how Run Thatcher Run is going to proceed but I guess he will be coming out shortly. It is still very wide open,” Nunes said.

Commenting on the run by Earn Your Stripes, Nunes said: “He didn't run that bad, he got beaten by two lengths, I don't think this race really suited him and I expect a better run from him come Guineas day.”

It was Toona Ciliata's second win from four starts with earnings of over $1.4 million.

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