Yulong Banks On Tofane Scaling Everest With Flying Colours

By Ray Hickson

She’s not being respected by the market but trainer Mike Moroney is adamant Tofane has what it takes to make her presence felt in the TAB Everest.

Trainer Mike Moroney (Pic: Grant Guy)

And she’ll have that chance after 2018 Everest winning slot holder Yulong snapped the five-year-old up as its runner and she will wear the Yulong colours in the $15m race.

Moroney said he’s had the Everest in mind since the autumn when Tofane was placed in the Galaxy, ran an eye-catching fifth in the TJ Smith Stakes and claimed her first Group 1 in the All Aged Stakes.

“She goes right handed, she travels well, she handles all sorts of ground so she does tick a lot of boxes,’’ he said.

“While her Group 1 win was at 1400m if you go back and watch her runs at 1200m in the autumn it’s been jockey error once and trainer error once.

“The run in the Newmarket was my fault, I told (Michael Dee) to get cover and I shouldn’t have, she steamed home late when she got out.

“Opie (Bosson) made a blue on her in the TJ but he learned for the All Aged.

“Her runs have been very good in all the Group 1s and I’m pretty sure she will be very competitive.

“If it is wet it will bring her into it even more, it’ll be more of a slog. She will get the right run behind what I think will be a lot of speed.”

Tofane, $34 with TAB, is the fifth horse secured for the 2020 TAB Everest following Nature Strip, Classique Legend, Gytrash and Rothfire and the mare will complete her preparation in Melbourne.

Sam Fairgray, Yulong’s chief operating officer, said Tofane has been on the radar for the slot since the autumn and securing her for the race strengthens the association Yulong owner Mr Zhang has with Moroney and Tofane’s part-owner Rupert Legh.

Yulong stands Moroney’s Group 1 winner Alabama Express as well as Grunt, both owned by Legh.

“We have that relationship and it’s great that’s going to continue. I think she will represent Yulong and her owners well,’’ Fairgray said.

“We liked the fact she can handle any conditions, is proven at weight-for-age and will be strong in a race like the Everest.

“I think the way the race is possibly going to pan out will work nicely for her. She’s proven she’s a good tough mare and can race the elite and be competitive so it’s exciting.”

Tofane wins the All Aged Stakes at Randwick in April

Tofane had her first run since the All Aged when she resumed with a close up third in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) at Flemington on September 12 carrying 58kg.

Moroney was rapt with the effort and she’ll attack the Everest third-up after the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), also at Flemington, on October 3.

“They cantered around and sprinted home which didn’t suit her at the weights so she only got beaten two noses so we thought it was a good run,’’ he said.

“The Everest was our main aim and we planned to have her there at her best.

“We’ll go to the Gilgai and we’ve always planned for the Everest to be her third run which is always her best run.”