Tornado staying home

By Adam Hamilton

KIWI trainers can breath a little easier with Australia’s top trotter Tornado Valley staying home instead of raiding Cup Week in Christchurch.

Trainer Andy Gath and owner Norm Jenkin tossed the decision around for two days after Tornado Valley’s stunning Cranbourne win last Saturday night.

“In the end, we’ve decided to stay home,” Gath said. “The two major reasons are he’s not a good traveller and it’s a big trip from Melbourne to Sydney by road then fly to Christchurch. And we’ve also got an Inter Dominion and the Great Southern Star still to come in our own backyard.

“He travelled a better to Cranbourne (about two hours from Gath’s Long Forest stable last weekend), but it’s a lot bigger ask getting him across Christchurch.

“You know me, I love to tackle the best races anywhere when we’ve got the right horse, but this time we’re better staying home and focusing on the Inter Dominion given it’s just around the corner.”

Tornado Valley made it 12 wins from just 16 Aussie starts for Gath when he produced a career-best performance in the Group 3 Chris Howe Trotters’ Cup (2555m) at Cranbourne last Saturday night.

Best known as a front-of-the-field horse, the gelding showed his versatility by sitting back and coming with a big, sustained run in the last lap to blow away many of Victoria’s best trotters.

His speed blitz including a privately-time 26.9sec split from the 800-400m and powered clear to win by 13.5m over talented mare Sky Petite and top class veteran Kyvalley Blur.

“We were thrilled with him. He’s come back really well. He had to do plenty of work in the last lap, but he ran away from them in the end. And that’s saying something given how well Kyvalley Blur has been going,” Gath said.

Kyvalley Blur ran another solid race for third and his Christchurch raid remains on target.

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