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Lot 472 of Three Bridges' draft, Toronado x Tereka sold for $850,000 on day three

Swettenham Stud’s Toronado cemented his reputation as one of Australia’s most in-demand stallions when Three Bridges sold his colt for $850,000 on day three of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Internationally-renowned bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell, who purchased the bay colt out of Tereka on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, declared that Toronado – one of the leading lights of the VOBIS Sires program – is “at the top of our hitlist”.

That is in no small part due to the success of Lucky Express, who won the inaugural edition of The Showdown when he raced in Australia as Prince of Sussex for trainer Matt Laurie.

Purchased by Hong Kong interests off the back of his dominant win in the $1 million showpiece race in 2019, the speedy son of Toronado has embellished his reputation – and that of his sire – in one of the world’s most competitive racing jurisdictions, winning twice and finishing runner-up in the 2021 Group 1 Classic Mile.

Prince of Sussex was purchased for $145,000 at the 2018 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, and the price paid for Lot 472 on the Gold Coast four years later reflects Toronado’s growing stature.

“He was probably the standout of Toronado’s progeny at the sale, so we were pretty confident that he’d sell well but it’s always a relief when the price paid matches your expectations,” said Sam Matthews, Swettenham Stud’s General Manager.

“He’s the joint highest Toronado ever sold and was produced from a $25,000 service fee, so the return on investment for breeders is absolutely exceptional.

“Prince of Sussex was Toronado’s flagbearer in Hong Kong and there are around 20 of his progeny currently racing there, so he’s definitely the most in-demand Australian stallion in that part of the world.

“Three Bridges did an outstanding job with the colt and he has presented beautifully, so it’s a great result for them and for us.”

Rounsefell had identified the colt as the ‘best on ground’, saying: “Toronado is at the top of our hitlist at the moment, and this colt was my pick of the sale.

“Toronado has got some really exciting horses in Hong Kong, and the colt is out of a young mare who is closely related to some good Hong Kong form. You don’t often find a Toronado colt that looks this good off a very good producing farm in Three Bridges, who have an excellent graduates record, so we decided pretty early on that we had to have him.

“Three Bridges is a farm we focus on intently given their record, and when they produce such an outstanding-looking Toronado colt, I knew we’d have to be strong on him. The sale yesterday picked up and we wanted to come in hard, so even though it’s a big price we think it’s still a very fair one.”

The sale saw Toronado’s progeny sail through the $2 million mark, and with six more lots still to pass through the sales ring, there is every reason to expect that figure will increase substantially over the final two days.

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