No Bull – Toreador On The Up

100 winners up for Craig Zackey

Link Man

Link Man – Toreador’s only Gr1 winner to date. That could change on Saturday

One of the most interestingly bred horses at Saturday’s Scottsville Festival Of Speed meeting will be the Dominic Zaki-trained Prospect Strike, who displayed his class on debut when waltzing in by 12,75 lengths over 1200m on the Vaal turf.

He recorded a fast time that day and could be a big threat in Saturday’s Gr 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion over 1200m at Scottsville.

Zaki said, “His preparation has gone smoothly and he is as fit as a fiddle. I am very happy with him, he is top class.”

The bay gelding was bred by the Tawny Syndicate and is owned by two of this syndicate’s members, Larry Nestadt and Greg Blank, in partnership with Knut Haug.

Nestadt and Blank found his Mr Prospector dam, Prospect Fever, in Australia and brought her back to South Africa. Their reasoning was not only that Mr Prospector mares were hard to come by but that she would also likely be an excellent mating for their Danehill stallion Toreador. This was partly due to the famous Northern Dancer-Mr Prospector nick. Toreador is from the Northern Dancer sire line and Prospect Fever herself has the Mr Prospector-Northern Dancer cross close up in her pedigree.

Furthermore, Prospect Fever had already produced the Gr 3-winning Danehill colt Way West, who became known as a speed influential sire at Summerhill Stud.

Way West won an Australian Gr 3 over 1100m as a two-year-old in 2004, beating the now sought after sire Oratorio, so it is not surprising that his three parts brother Prospect Strike is also packed with precocious speed. Prospect Strike is in fact the third Toreador foal that Prospect Fever has produced and this emphasises the vagaries of breeding as the other pair, Abstract and Portrait, have not amounted to much, having won just three minor races between them, all over 1200m.

Toreador’s only Gr 1 winner to date was the Dennis Drier-trained Gold Medallion winner Link Man. This speedy grey was also bred by the Tawny Syndicate and part-owned by Nestadt and Blank.

Nestadt has also part-owned two other Medallion winners. The first was the National Emblem colt Rip Curl, whom he owned in partnership with the late chairman of Turffontein, Collie Fram, as well as with MD Moritz. Scottsville’s reputation as a graveyard of champions was displayed that day as the Nestadt-owned Palace Line started odds on favourite and could only manage fourth place, his only defeat in seven outings in South Africa. Palace Line later exacted revenge on Rip Curl in the Gr 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes. Nestadt’s other Medallion winner was also by National Emblem, the Mike de Kock-trained 2005 victor Carnadore, whom he owned in partnership with Barry Irwin’s Team Valor syndicate.

Prospect Strike has an unfavourable high draw, by trends, but there is only a small field of ten runners so it shouldn’t be too much of a disadvantage. Craig Zackey keeps the ride.

Craig Zackey (credit JC Photos)

Craig Zackey – 100 winners on the board

Nestadt and Blank will be hoping Prospect Strike earns them another Gold Medallion victory, especially as this would help Toreador find his way back into the limelight.

The stallion sired a double for the same trainer and jockey combination at the Vaal on Tuesday.

The Ambiance Stud-bred Bull Valley impressed with a professional victory on debut and then the three-time winning Shepard One returned from an eight month break to win the fourth, an MR 91 Handicap.

This gave Craig Zackey, who recently rode his first Gr1 winner on Arabian Beat (for Dom Zaki), his 100th career winner

Report on – additional by SP Editorial Staff

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