By Paul Dolan
Trainer Robert Britton has announced the retirement of his super stayer Tornado Tears.
The 35-time race winner is the only stayer to have earned in excess of $1 million in prizemoney. Well, let’s clarify that. Fanta Bale is Australia’s highest stakes winner on $1,365,175 and you’re probably thinking – wasn’t she a stayer?
The answer is – yes, she was but she was also a mighty fine sprinter. Fanta Bale, which Robert Britton also trained, won 42 races. She had 14 wins at distances from 460 to 525 metres and 28 wins in races longer than 525 metres. So I’m classing her as a sprinter who became a stayer. Tornado Tears had just four wins from 520 to 535 metres, then 31 wins at distances longer than 535m. I reckon that entitles him to be labelled as purely a stayer.
Tornado Tears was a bit special to me as he was the last feature staying race winner that I had the privilege to call. On June 14, 2018, he won the Group 1 Gold Cup at Albion Park in 41.33. Seven nights later, he won the Group 3 Super Stayers at the same track, this time running 41.20 and winning by eight lengths over Rippin Sam and Jalapeno. They are wins I will long remember.
Tornado Tears turns five years of age on the sixth of this month (February). His last race was on December 5, 2020 when fourth at The Meadows.
The dog won’t be standing at stud. He has cryptorchidism, absense of testes, rendering him infertile. He will become a couch potato at the home of people who handled him in races at Sandown for Rob Britton.
Can you imagine the look on somebody’s face if they see the dog lazing around the house and ask the question – how much money did he win?
“Oh, just over a million dollars,’’ would be the answer!
Here are Australia’s current top ten prizemoney earners: Fanta Bale $1,365,175, Good Odds Harada $1,303,735, Fernando Bale $1,299,370, Dyna Double One $1,160,316, Mystic Riot $1,056,964, Handsome Prince $1,026,898, Tornado Tears $1,003,935.
Assuming that you agree with me that Fanta Bale was a sprinter and stayer, Tornado Tears is the only stayer on that list. That’s yet another feather in his cap.