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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

What an eye-catcher Watan is for first-season sire Toronado

Al Shaqab homebred colt coasts home on debut at Goodwood

Watan: his dam is the Grade 1 winner and $1.6m broodmare buy Shotgun Gulch
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First-season sire Toronado looks to have a smart prospect on his hands in son Watan, who eased to a two-length victory in a valuable 6f maiden on debut at Goodwood on Tuesday.

The Richard Hannon-trained colt raced prominently and showed signs of greenness when hanging right after being asked for his effort a furlong from home by jockey Ryan Moore, but he accelerated admirably and drew clear to record an easy success over more experienced stablemate Dirty Rascal (by Acclamation).

View the result and watch the full race replay

Hannon said after the race: "This is a great victory as he is by Toronado, who was owned by Al Shaqab, and was bred at Sheikh Joaan's Haras de Bouquetot, so it's a very special winner to have.

"I thought Watan would run well, but I didn't really think he would win like that.

"He's always shown a fair bit, but he had sore shins so we had to wait with him. As time went on, I thought we would target him for Goodwood and it worked well.

"Ryan [Moore] was very happy with him and he thinks he'll get seven furlongs in time.

"We'll take things step-by-step with him, get him home and have a few days off.

"I think he could get a mile in time and he is fully decent. Hopefully he's a good one as Sheikh Joaan is due a good one."

It was at Goodwood that Toronado – also trained by Hannon after the retirement of his father – enjoyed one of his finest moments, when taking the scalps of Dawn Approach and Declaration Of War to land the Sussex Stakes at three.

The son of High Chaparral had won the Champagne Stakes at two and won the Craven Stakes, finished fourth in the 2,000 Guineas and run a short-head second to Dawn Approach in the St James's Palace Stakes before arriving on the Sussex Downs.

He went on to take the Queen Anne Stakes and to finish runner-up to Kingman in his repeat bid in the Sussex Stakes and second to Charm Spirit in the Prix du Moulin at four.

Toronado stands as a stallion on behalf of Al Shaqab Racing, spending his first three years covering mares at the National Stud in Newmarket before moving to his owners' base of Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy this year, when his fee was €12,000.

Watan is Toronado's fifth winner and first to strike in Britain from a first crop of 120 foals conceived at a fee of £15,000.

He displays the strong support Al Shaqab threw behind their own sire, as he is the fourth foal out of Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes heroine Shotgun Gulch, who was bought in foal to Bernardini by Mandore International on behalf of the Qatari organisation for $1.6 million at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale of 2012.

Shotgun Gulch is developing into a very good broodmare, as her Andre Fabre-trained three-year-old colt Rabdan – by Frankel – finished a close third in the Listed Prix de l'Avre in May and was a nine-length winner of a 1m6f conditions race at Maisons-Laffitte last Thursday.

She is also dam of the four-year-old New Approach colt Al Tibr, a three-time winner in France.

Shotgun Gulch has a filly foal by fellow Bouquetot stallion Shalaa.

The mare is by Thunder Gulch out of the winning Boston Harbor mare Rosieville, a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Maysville Slew and to the dam of multiple Grade 3 winner Shotgun Kowboy.

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He's always shown a fair bit, but he had sore shins so we had to wait with him
E.W. Terms
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