Royal Ascot Spotlight: Toronado set for big Queen Anne return

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Toronado provided racing fans with one of the most iconic images of the 2013 Flat season when winning the ‘Duel on the Downs’ against 2000 Guineas victor Dawn Approach and the four-year-old can create plenty more excitement at this year’s Royal Ascot festival.

Currently available at 6/4 to win the Queen Anne Stakes, last season’s Sussex Stakes hero bids for more Group 1 success over a mile.

William Geldart profiles one of Royal Ascot’s potential stars ahead of the prestigious five-day meeting in Berkshire.

Royal Entry:

Queen Anne Stakes (6/4 fav)

Notable Achievements:

Toronado had won on all four of his previous career starts before finding Dawn Approach too hot to handle during consecutive defeats in the 2000 Guineas and St. James’s Palace Stakes respectively.

But the son of High Chaparral finally got his revenge at the third time of asking in Glorious Goodwood’s Sussex Stakes before ending his season with an unsatisfactory last-placed finish when stepped up in trip to 1m2f in the Juddmonte at York.

He can be forgiven that run though ahead of a return to his ideal distance.

Season so far:

Toronado will be making his seasonal reappearance. In the meantime, trainer Hannon has already been making positive noises about his charge’s work on the gallops at Newbury.

Stable form:

Hannon Jnr has already racked up over £1.2m in prize money so far this season with his stable’s tally of 67 wins (at the time of writing) second only to Mark Johnston.

Jockey:

Richard Hughes, two-time Champion Jockey. Enough said

Ascot Races

Course form:

A Listed win over 7f and last year’s St. James’s Palace second are Toronado’s previous pieces of course form. Having only been just been touched off in the latter, expect him to relish another taste of the Ascot turf.

Hydrogen or Frankel?

Toronado’s no blowout despite falling short in a few of his big assignments last term.

Final verdict:

Only two favourites have won this race in the last 13 years and with the previous 11 victors all enjoying a run before their Queen Anne assignment, recent trends are against Toronado.

Stablemate and Lockinge winner Olympic Glory will provide a stern test if the two aren’t kept apart while Aidan O’Brien’s US import Verrazano is another chance to watch out for.

But given the class exuded by Toronado in his three-year-old campaign and his past performances at Ascot there’s plenty to support his market-leading claims.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.