Phoenix Sprint victory for Toscanini
Toscanini, narrowly beaten last year in the G3 Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint, made no mistake when running in the same six-furlong race at the Curragh, Ireland, on Sunday, August 7.
The Michael Halford-trained four-year-old, partnered by James Doyle, overcame all challengers to win well by a length and a quarter.
The son of Sharmardal went to the front within a furlong and first saw off Lord Of The Land and then was challenged by Eastern Impact just inside the final furlong.
Toscanini may have surrendered the advantage briefly but then rallied strongly and ran on well to win in 1m 10.17s on ground described as good to firm, good in places.
In nine appearances at the Curragh now, Toscanini has won or been placed seven times, with the other two runs resulting in fourths.
Michael Halford commented: "Toscanini always had ability but only now has he fully grown up and is really getting his act together.
"He had his ideal conditions today - he loves fast ground - and six furlongs is probably his ideal trip. He might get seven on an easy turning track maybe. Six suits him well up here when you let him roll.
"He was a bit weak and immature and used to travel with such ease but didn’t finish his races. We always thought he was a high-class horse. It was a great ride from James.
"We will see where we go next - we might even be able to drop him back to something like the Flying Five (G2, 5f, the Curragh, September 11) but there are plenty of options."