The return to Sandown Park, where he boasts a near faultless 715m record, saw champion stayer Tornado Tears return to winning form in the heats of the Group 1 Bold Trease on Friday night.
Heading into the Bold Trease, which he missed last year due to injury, the great Tornado Tears had been beaten at his past four starts over a two-month period, finishing unplaced in the Group 1 Stayers Topgun and Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup Final, both at The Meadows.
But coming back to Sandown, where he’d won eight from nine over 715m and five from six over 595m, Tornado Tears started $2.10 favourite from box eight in the first of four Bold Trease heats.
Rajasthan ($4.60), which upstaged Tornado Tears in the Group 1 Sandown Cup in May, led clearly, while Tornado Tears settled second with a lap to go.
Tornado Tears loomed threateningly approaching the home turn and ducked back to the fence in the closing bounds to edge out Rajasthan by .03 of a length in 42.10s, with the well-supported Mrs Emgrand ($3.60) third in a thrilling three-way photo.
Tornado Tears was the ‘slowest’ of the four heat winners and the only one not to break 42 seconds.
Tornado Tears will spearhead master distance conditioner Robert Britton’s assault on a fourth Bold Trease victory in the last seven years and Britton added a second string to his bow when Blazing Cartier ($3.50) was a dominant winner of heat three in 41.68s.
The fastest qualifying performance came in the final heat, where Andrea Dailly’s heavily-backed $1.60 favourite Boom Down continued his consistent form with a strong-finishing 41.63s success.
The remaining heat winner was NSW veteran Blue Moon Rising, trained by John Finn, which followed on from his victory in the Group 1 Stayers Topgun at The Meadows earlier in the month to lead all-the-way in 41.79s, his 30th win at start 102.
GROUP 1 BOLD TREASE
Friday – 715m
1. BOOM DOWN (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
2. SLICK RAVEN (Justin Bowe, Greenmount QLD)
3. BLUE MOON RISING (John Finn, Cranebrook NSW)
4. TORNADO TEARS (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
5. RAJASTHAN (Robert Camilleri, Lara VIC)
6. BLAZING CARTIER (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
7. MIDNIGHT MYSTERY (Andrea Bahen, Yuroke)
8. JUST TERMS (Anthony Azzopardi, Rowsley)
9. ANGRY TRIP (Rebecca Romyn, Moe VIC)
10. BLUE SHADOWS (Angela Langton, Anakie)
WATCH: Tornado Tears (8) wins a thriller over Rajasthan (4) and Mrs. Emgrand (1).
Photos by Clint Anderson