A strong and consistent performer over the 2014 spring and summer seasons in Perth, trainer Lou Luciani has revealed classy stayer Tonto has returned to work in preparations for a campaign geared towards the featured Group 2 Western Australian Derby (2400m) at Ascot Racecourse on April 11th.
Securing four wins over his short but impressive nine start career so far, Tonto has not been seen at the races since overcoming an early check to secure a credible fourth amongst classy competition in the Listed Aquanita Stakes (1800m) on December 6th.
Having reportedly taken well to his time in the paddock and subsequent return to work, Luciani told Perth Racing he is confident of another successful campaign for the son of Onemorenomore, and plotted a path to the 2015 WA Derby beginning with the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on February 28th.
“He is back in work and he worked very well at Bunbury this morning,” Luciani said.
“He will be on a Derby campaign, so he can start in the Lex Piper Stakes over 1600 and we will see how many runs he needs.
“We have to be careful with him because he has only had a short let-up.”
Performing well in three strong barrier trials prior to his competitive racing debut in early 2014, Tonto quickly made his presence felt over the autumn of 2014; placing mid-pack in two minor sprint events before claiming both the Judy Maker Memorial Maiden (1200m) and Westspeed Nursery 2.y.o (1600m) in succession.
Returning to racing in similarly devastating form in spring, Tonto won a minor 1300m and the Festival Of Perth Racing 3.y.o+ (1400m) first-up before running fourth in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) and sixth in the Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) in what was his only other start prior to the Aquanita Stakes.
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