He’s keeping his cards close to his chest, but judging by the smile post-race you get the impression veteran trainer Vern Brockman believes Toropa shapes as an Ascot carnival horse.
Toropa kicked off her career in the best possible manner with a fighting win on debut in the Book Your Christmas In July Celebration at Belmont-29th July Plate (1000m).
The Toronado filly has already gone some way to clawing some prizemoney back for owners after she was bought for $230,000 at the Perth Magic Millions Yearling sale.
Displaying maturity and race experience beyond her years, Toropa ducked to the inside in search of a run before bursting clear between runners for jockey, Joe Azzopardi.
Toropa was headed by Brave Spirit in the straight and appeared destined for defeat, but fought back courageously to get the better of the Steve Wolfe-trained gelding over the concluding stages.
Giving Brockman a rare two-year-old victory, Toropa, returning juicy odds of $21 for canny punters, won by a neck with a another 2 ¾ lengths to third place getter, Janny.
Brockman was thrilled with Toropa’s victory and the way she fought to the line.
“It was very pleasing victory because she doesn’t know a lot,” Brockman said.
“She hadn’t been to another course except Lark Hill.
“But she’s all quality and everything about her is good.
“She’s well-bred and let’s hope it continues.
“She fought on well today and I was very pleased.
“I haven’t had a two-year-old winner for a while, but then again I haven’t had many two-year-old runners.”
Brockman said he will let the dust settle on Toropa’s first win before planning her next assignment.
“The plan going into the race was probably put her out, but I’ll just have to think about that,” Brockman said.
“I will see how she does.
“I haven’t spoken to the others, but she may have one more start on a Saturday and then have a break.
“I would like her to be there in the spring (Ascot) and if she does she’ll have to have a break shortly.”
When pressed if Ascot would include feature three-year-old races such as the Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) and others, Brockman was non-committal.
“No, I’m not going to talk too much,” Brockman said.
“But you never know.”
Meanwhile, 30 minutes later, another promising two-year-old stamped her Ascot Pinnacles credentials with a barnstorming win on debut.
Written Melody, trained by Grant and Alana Williams, took out the Tabtouch-Have You Got The Touch Plate by an impressive 2 ¼ lengths.
“She will have a little break now and then we’ll bring her back for some of those black-type races (Ascot) and see what we’ve got,” Grant Williams said.