Brett Partelle has modelled his training property on the Hayes’ family’s Lindsay Park and Torio’s Quest is the shining example of his labour.
Torio’s Quest will take the next step in his Cox Plate campaign when he tackles the Group Two Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
An eye-catching second to Master Of Design first-up in the Sebring Sprint (1300m), Torio’s Quest will have in-form jockey Hugh Bowman aboard and has an ideal draw in barrier five.
“It looks a lovely draw, he should be wherever we want him to be but I’ll leave that to Hugh, he knows the horse better than anyone,” Partelle said.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. He did some light, three-quarter work this (Thursday) morning and his regular track rider, Robbie Brewer, said he went enormous so it’s all systems go for Saturday.”
Partelle prepares a team of 21 at Tacoma, six kilometres outside Wyong on the NSW Central Coast.
It has been home for a while now following a stint training at nearby Gosford and before that many years spent working for some of the country’s best trainers.
Chief among them were Bart Cummings and David Hayes.
Partelle worked for Cummings during the era when he had Beau Zam, Sky Chase and Round The World and he was travelling foreman for Hayes in 1990 when Better Loosen Up won the Cox Plate and Japan Cup.
“It was a top grounding,” Partelle said.
It was Hayes’ sprawling Lindsay Park property in South Australia and the effect of training horses in their natural environment which inspired Partelle to set up his complex near Wyong.
“I wanted to get back to a concept like Lindsay Park,” Partelle said.
“All the horses are in outdoor yards, there are lots of trees and they are boxed during the night.
“It’s a relaxed, natural environment.”
Torio’s Quest has become Partelle’s stable flag-bearer since an injury to Walking Or Dancing in the George Ryder Stakes led to his retirement to stud.
Partelle is heading to the Shannon confident the four-year-old will be hard to beat, although he respects the opposition including favourite Secret Admirer and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fast Clip.
“We’re obviously going there on Saturday to win and hopefully he can bounce off that into the Toorak (Handicap),” Partelle said.
“They don’t give you Group Two races on a plate but the horse should be right in the finish.
“Secret Admirer looks the horse to beat, obviously the thing of Gai’s will be improved.
“Descarado probably has too much weight but it will be a good pipe-opener for him.
“I wouldn’t swap my horse for anything else in the race though.”
Partelle has ruled out a start in the Epsom Handicap on October 1 and will instead target the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) a week later.
The Cox Plate (2040m) is on October 22.