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Empire Rose likely for Tofane

Tofane returns a winner after the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap. - Photo: Grant Peters via NZ Racing Desk
Tofane returns a winner after the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap.

Photo: Grant Peters via NZ Racing Desk

A lucrative spring campaign could be instore for triple Group One winner Tofane, but in which state that will be is yet to be decided.

On Monday Racing Victoria announced all Group One races for the spring would be worth a minimum of A$1 million, with a A$1 million bonus up for grabs for the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for fillies or mares if they have won one of 12 selected races for the fairer sex.

The boost in prizemoney has come shortly after the announcement of a new race in Sydney, the A$2 million The Invitation (1400m), a race ideally suited to Tofane who is undefeated over the distance.

The connections of Tofane now have a decision to make on which state to target, but trainer Michael Moroney is leaning towards staying in his home state of Victoria and giving his mare a crack at mile racing for the first time. 

“The money seems to be following her around at the moment,” Moroney told RSN927.

“It’s a good place to be, but she can’t run everywhere so it is something we will have to work out a bit later. There are certainly some good opportunities for her.

“We think the mile will suit her more than 1400m, even though she is unbeaten at 1400m, and all in Group One company.

“We will find that as we go along. We are quite happy to give her a preparation to head to those races going a little bit further. But if she says no, we can always whip back to that 1400m race.

“I would think the Empire Rose (would be a nice target) because the mile may just suit a bit better now.”

Moroney was also pleased to report that jockey Craig Williams has elected to stick with the mare this spring.

Tofane’s first target of the spring is set to be the Gr.1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 28.

Tofane was bred by Curraghmore’s Gordon Cunningham, who entrusted her to the care of Ballymore Stables’ Matamata barn, headed by Pam Gerard, for whom she won her 820m trial at Te Teko as a three-year-old.

She was subsequently sold to Australian-based stable clients, including prominent owner Rupert Legh, and transferred to Moroney’s Flemington barn where she has won seven races and more than A$2.6 million in prizemoney. – NZ Racing Desk


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