Wyong trainer Brett Partelle expects Torio’s Quest’s spring performances to justify his lofty opinion of the Cox Plate-bound galloper.
Torio’s Quest is set to resume in Saturday’s Group Two Sebring Sprint (1300m) at Rosehill after turning in an impressive exhibition gallop between races on his home track on Friday.
Partelle has always held Torio’s Quest in high regard and the four-year-old hasn’t let his trainer down with feature wins last season in the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) in January and the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m) by four lengths in June.
The trainer can’t hide his excitement heading into the spring carnival.
“It’s very exciting times, not only for myself but for the owners and the stable and everyone involved,” Partelle said.
“These sorts of horses, they come along maybe once in a lifetime because he’s a very, very good horse. And I think he’ll justify that through the spring.”
Hugh Bowman has ridden Torio’s Quest in his major victories and was on board in Friday’s exhibition gallop but with the Sebring Sprint (formerly Theo Marks) a Quality Handicap it is expected to keep him off Torio’s Quest’s back first-up.
“Glen Boss will probably ride him next week because Hugh can’t make the weight which is a bit of a pity,” Partelle said.
“We’ll just wait and see and see how things go.”
On Friday the son of Oratorio worked over 1000m with stablemate Laguna Grande, a four-time provincial winner.
The pair worked home the last 400 metres of the gallop and after giving his stablemate a start Torio’s Quest easily accounted for him in a pleasing hitout.
“He’s going super and that (exhibition gallop) was absolutely perfect just to top him off for what we are aiming to do,” Partelle said.
“He’ll go to the Theo Marks and expect him to be very, very competitive.
“It’s probably just short of his best being 1300 metres but he’s on the fresh side.
“He’ll then either stay here and two weeks later go into the (Group Two) Shannon Stakes or go to Melbourne for the (Group One) Sir Rupert Clarke.
“Then he’ll run in the Toorak Handicap two weeks after that and then hopefully into the Cox Plate.”
The winner of five of his 10 starts, Torio’s Quest has already netted more than $850,000 prize money.
Torio’s Quest is currently at $31 with TAB Sportsbet for the $3 million Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.