Multiple Group One winning New Zealand-bred mare Tofane is likely to return to the track in the Gr.1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in February in what will be the beginning of the end of the six-year-old’s racing career.
A three-time Group One winner, connections have long been tempted to retire their star galloper to stud and it now seems the time has come, but not before one last push to secure another elite-level victory.
“She’s back in the stable, probably the C.F. Orr (Stakes) is probably where we’ll see her at first,” trans-Tasman trainer Michael Moroney said.
Tofane was the star of last year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival, winning the Gr.1 Stradbroke (1400m) and Gr.1 Tatt’s Tiara (1400m) in a memorable fortnight, but Moroney has all but ruled out another tilt at Group One glory in the sunshine state.
“Her final race might be the All Aged Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) which she won, because I don’t think we’ll be going to Queensland with her, she’ll probably be going through the sale there instead,” Moroney explained.
“We’re thinking of possibly having a couple of runs here and a couple in Sydney and that’ll be her swansong.”
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, three at elite-level, and more than A$2.9 million in prizemoney.
“It’s a great record, and there’s not many that do that,” Moroney said.
“Not many mares win those Group Ones like that, and against all-comers as well as at weight for age in three really good races.
“She found the spring just a fraction tough for her, pretty luckless I thought in the Toorak (Gr.1, 1600m) but in saying that the winner was always going to beat us with the weight difference.
“She held her own against the best in the land here, she’s not far away, I’m pretty sure she’ll get another Group One before she goes to the paddock.” -NZ Racing Desk