Tornado tops again

By Adam Hamilton

MAYBE now Tornado Valley will start to get some of the universal praise he deserves.

Already an Inter Dominion winner, for some reason many have felt he’s been the right horse at the right time with gate speed rather than a genuine superstar.

But now his records demands the utmost respect, if it didn’t already.

When he led throughout to win yet another Group 1 – and the richest win of his career – in last night’s Group 1 Great Southern Star, it was his 33rd career win and took his earnings to a whopping $710,437.

For the past two years he’s been the benchmark trotter.

No matter who the Kiwis have sent across, including most recently Oscar Bonavena and others, Tornado Valley keeps beating them.

And last night was the 18th time from 18 attempts across two years he has led and won.

Think about that.

Trainer Andy Gath stopped short of saying it was the greatest win of his career, but quickly added it was “by far the best field he’s beaten.”

“The Inter Dominion is still the tops. To go through the three heats and win that final in front of a big, passionate crowd. Let alone all the history that goes with the Inter Dominion,” Gath said.

“But this was very special, too. There were some saying he wasn’t as good as he was a year ago, but he came out and beat the best field he’s ever faced.

“You don’t win 18 out of 18 leading unless you’re a pretty special horse.”

Tornado Valley will stay in for next month’s Trotting Grand Prix, but Gath has shelved travel plans.

“I thought seriously about that Menangle mile race, but even taking him an hour up the road to Ballarat the other day set him off. He’s just not a good traveller and I won’t put him through Sydney,” he said.

“I’ll just pick and choose some races down here in between the good ones.”

And there will be no Sydney Inter Dominion at the end of the year.

“As much as I’d love to have taken him to Auckland a couple of months back and Sydney later this year, I really can’t because he’s such a bad traveller,” he said.

“No, he’ll just be sticking around home for the rest of his career now. We’re lucky there are lots of good races here for him.”

Stablemate McLovin disappointed again and has gone for a spell.

“That’s three runs back from NZ where hasn’t been himself, so it’s time to put him out and start again,” Gath said.

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