Toona Ciliata possesses rare ability to stay with any pace

Toona Ciliata - Dane Nelson
Toona Ciliata - Dane Nelson

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Toona Ciliata once again demonstrated his all-round quality when turning back a decent field of three-year-old and upward runners to win the The Viceroy Trophy feature over 1600 metres at Caymanas Park on Saturday, October 24.

It was a fine performance from the four-year-old chestnut gelded son of Soul Warrior out of the Wizard of Gold broodmare Red Gold.

Trained by Anthony Nunes and ridden by Dane Nelson, Toona Ciliata completed the distance in a fine time of 1:36.2 with accompanying splits of 23.3, 45.3, 1:09.4.

Toona Ciliata sat close to the leaders at the off and passing the 1200-metre marker he was third behind Universal Boss (Dick Cardenas) and Sir Alton, the mount of Anthony Thomas. As soon as Sir Alton got rid of Universal Boss at the 800-metre point, Nelson sent Toona Ciliata in chase.

Turning for home, Toona Ciliata hugged the inside rails and Nelson drove the chestnut gelding to a four-length win over Sir Alton. Summer Sun (Javaniel Patterson) came on well in the end for third place.

“That’s the beauty of Toona Ciliata; there is no pace that you can run and leave him. As you can see, he was up against Sir Alton who possesses a ton of speed; there was also Universal Boss who also has a ton of speed and both were on the headline — and he was right on their heels.

“And if Universal Boss was not in the race, he himself would have taken on Sir Alton to sit near the pace, and that’s the beauty of a horse like him — he is not coming from way out of it as would Bigdaddykool. Too, Supreme Soul would sometimes come from way out of it but Toona Ciliata has good tactical speed, which is a hell of an asset laced with speed and the ability to stay on a bit.

“I think this is just a God-given talent. He has the genes, the speed and some staying ability. That area of his has nothing to do with me. As the trainer, what I have to do is to bring him here fit and ready to run in the right frame of mind — physically and mentally ready,” Nunes, explained.

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