Old stager Tornado Tears scored his first win since January when eclipsing highly-fancied staying debutant Houdini Boy ($1.80F) in the Top Cat Video Cup Final (725m) at The Meadows tonight.
Ending a run of eight straight defeats, Tornado Tears (Fernando Bale – Tears Siam) scored at the huge odds of $12.20 and claimed a $25,000 first prize.
A winner of 34 races from 66 starts, the Robert Britton-trained stayer affectionately known as Batman because of his unique facial markings had previously not won a race at odds greater than $4.60.
“His last 3-4 months it’s almost as if he’s had a new lease of life. He’s a big puppy again and has been enjoying his racing,” hander Peter Riley told Troy Iwanyk.
“It’s a pleasure to have a dog like him in the kennel. He’s a real character. Everyone loves him and everyone loves to give him a pat.”
Bred by Michael Ivers in NSW, Tornado Tears is owned by the Millmi Syndicate.
“We’ve got great owners who give us the good dogs to look after. It’s a great damline that keeps throwing winners after winners. We’ve just about got group winners from every litter.”
The build-up towards Houdini Boy’s staying debut was nothing short of remarkable and, despite not winning, he certainly lived up to the hype by producing another eye-catching performance.
Having wowed onlookers with numerous trademark last-to-first wins over shorter distances, all eyes were on Kel Greenough’s poster boy to see if he could handle the step up in ground.
While it was a tough ask stepping straight into a Group 3 final first up over ‘700’ against a field of seasoned stayers after no heats were conducted due to a shortage of entrants, Houdini Boy lost no admirers when charging home for second place, with the Todd Chatwin-trained rank outsider Jayville Slick ($59.20) impressing to run third in his first appearance at group level.
Incidentally, five-time Group 1 winner Tornado Tears took his career prize money earnings beyond $922,000.
WATCH: Tornado Tears (6) outlasts Houdini Boy (5) and Jayville Slick (2) in 42.67sec to claim the $25,000 first prize.