Raven’s Pass’s Rising Star Tocco D’Amore Takes the Finale

By Tom Frary

Earning TDN Rising Star status on her six-length winning debut in a 10-furlong maiden here Apr. 9, Tocco d’Amore overcame a seven-month absence to continue the trail and register a convincing first black-type success in the process. Confidently anchored in mid-division early by Pat Smullen, the bay moved to Lagostovegas in the centre of the track and after gaining the advantage passing the furlong marker found a late surge to put her seal on Ireland’s last black-type race of 2017. “It’s a very pleasing performance by her. She is a very valuable filly and I look forward to winning group races with her next year,” trainer Dermot Weld stated. “She would always appreciate an ease in the ground and would not want it firm. She is a smart filly. She had a setback fairly soon after her previous run and was off all through the summer. We just waited and patience paid dividends.”

As expected from a €2million purchase from Pat O’Kelly famed nursery at Kilcarn Stud, Tocco d’Amore has fancy connections with her dam, the G2 Blandford S. runner-up Spirit of Tara, now responsible for a total of six black-type performers headed by Godolphin’s talented Echo of Light. Himself a €1.2million buy at the Goffs Orby auction that Kilcarn have helped shape in recent times, he captured five group races for the operation which included the G2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein. Now a sire alongside his smart Kingmambo half-brothers Akarem (GB) and Multazem, he is also a half to the G2 Ribblesdale S. runner-up Flame of Gibraltar (Ire) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) and Irish History (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) who was third in the G1 Coronation S. The second dam Flame of Tara (Ire) (Artaius) was high-class in her own right, winning the latter Royal Ascot contest when it was still a group 2 and also the G2 Pretty Polly S. and finishing runner-up in the G1 Champion S. Her seven black-type performers feature her stellar full-sister Salsabil (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) whose five top-level victories included the G1 Irish Derby, G1 Epsom Oaks and G1 1000 Guineas and who later produced three pattern-race winners headed by the GII Knickerbocker H.-winning sire Sahm (Mr. Prospector). Flame of Tara’s son Marju (Ire) achieved renown as a sire after taking the G1 St. James’s Palace S. and finishing second in the G1 Epsom Derby, while her other notable representatives were the G3 Prix de Psyche scorer and G1 Irish 1000 Guineas runner-up Danse Royale (Ire) (Caerleon), the SW and MGSP sire Song of Tara (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) and the G2 Ribblesdale S. third Nearctic Flame (Ire), another by Sadler’s Wells who went on to throw three black-type performers. Also from the family of the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Northern Spur (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) and G1 Grand Criterium-winning sire Second Empire (Ire) (Fairy King), Spirit of Tara also has an as-yet unraced 2-year-old colt by Declaration of War named Texas Ranger (Ire) and a yearling colt by Invincible Spirit (Ire). The latter was purchased for €120,000 at the recent Orby by Justin Casse.

FINALE S.-Listed, €45,000, NAA, 11-5, 3yo/up, 12fT, 2:45.70, sf.
1–TOCCO D’AMORE (IRE), 121, f, 3, Raven’s Pass–Spirit of Tara (Ire) (GSP-Ire), by Sadler’s Wells.
(€2,000,000 Ylg ’15 GOFORB). O-Moyglare Stud Farm; B-Kilcarn Stud (IRE); T-Dermot Weld; J-Pat Smullen. €26,550. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $41,263. *1/2 to Akarem (GB) (Kingmambo), MSW-Eng GSP-Ire, $267,792, to Echo of Light (GB) (Dubai Millennium {GB}), MGSW-Eng Fr, G1SP-Ity, $459,479.
2–Lagostovegas (Ire), 126, m, 5, Footstepsinthesand (GB)–Reine de Coeur (Ire), by Montjeu (Ire). O-John Donohue. €8,550.
3–Mustajeer (GB), 131, g, 4, Medicean (GB)–Qelaan, by Dynaformer. (50,000gns HRA ’17 TATJUL). O-David Spratt. €4,050.
Margins: 3, NK, HF. Odds: 1.75, 2.50, 3.00. Click for the Racing Post result. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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