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Spring Champion Could be Cherry on Top
Sydney’s Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes could prove to be the spring cherry on top for Cherry Tortoni’s connections after an undefeated start to his career. Trained by Patrick Payne for renowned breeders Sandy Tait and his sister Jill Nivison, Cherry Tortoni has been to the races three times for three wins, including last weekend’s Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m). A juvenile son of exciting Darley stallion Night of Thunder (Dubawi), an unbeaten stakes-winner at two who captured the 2,000 Guineas at three and the Lockinge Stakes at four, Cherry Tortoni has been elevated to the top of betting markets for Sydney’s Gr1 Spring Stakes (2000m) where he shares favouritism with Hungry Heart, King’s Legacy and Mamaragan. Cherry Tortoni comes with a champion’s pedigree. The gelding’s Strategic dam Tortoni is a half-sister to 13-time Gr1 winner Tie The Knot (winner himself of the Spring Champion Stakes). They are both out of multiple Gr1-placed mare Whisked whose crowning glory was winning the Gr1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield in the same red silks and white cap carried by Cherry Tortoni.