Tolomeo (horse)

Last updated
Tolomeo
Sire Lypheor
Grandsire Lyphard
DamAlmagest
DamsireDike
Sex Stallion
Foaled1980
Country Ireland
Colour Bay
BreederCorduff Stud
Owner Carlo d'Alessio
P. Sykes
Trainer Luca Cumani
Record17:2-6-2
Major wins
Budweiser Million (1983)
Awards
Timeform rating=127 in 1983 and 1984

Tolomeo (1980 circa 2000) was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He is best known for his upset victory in the 1983 Budweiser Million, when he became the first European horse to win the race and the first British-trained horse to win a major race in the United States for fourteen years. He recorded only one other success (in a minor event for two-year-olds) in a seventeen race career but was placed in many major European races including the 2000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Benson and Hedges Gold Cup, Champion Stakes and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in Australia with moderate results.

Contents

Background

Tolomeo was a big, powerful bay horse with a white star and three white socks bred in County Kildare, Ireland by the Corduff Stud. [1] His sire Lypheor won the Prix Quincey in 1978 and showed great promise as a breeding stallion before his death at age of eleven: his other good winners included the inaugural Breeders' Cup Mile winner Royal Heroine and the Japanese champion Nippo Teio. Tolomeo was the first foal of his dam Almagest, whose only win came in a maiden at Leicester Racecourse. [2]

As a yearling, Tolomeo was offered for sale and bought for 17,000 Irish guineas by representatives of the Italian lawyer Carlo d'Alessio. who named the colt after the astronomer Ptolemy. The colt was sent to be trained at Newmarket, Suffolk by Luca Cumani. [1]

Racing career

1982: two-year-old season

Tolomeo ran three times as a two-year-old in 1982, finishing second in his first two attempts before recording his first win in a maiden race over seven furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse. [2]

1983: three-year-old season

After finishing fourth in the Craven Stakes on his debut as a three-year-old, Tolomeo contested the classic 2000 Guineas over Newmarket's Rowley mile course on 30 April. Ridden by the Italian jockey Gianfranco Dettori he started at odds of 18/1 against fifteen opponents. He was restrained in last place for most of the way before making rapid progress in the last quarter mile to finish second to the Irish-trained Lomond. Dettori was criticised for giving the colt too much ground to make up, but Cumani defended his jockey, insisting that he was riding according to instructions. Tolomeo next ran in The Derby over one and a half miles on soft ground, finishing ninth of the twenty-one runners, more than twenty lengths behind the winner Teenoso. Following the Derby, Tolomeo returned to shorter distances and produced three good performances without winning. He finished second by a head to Horage in the St James's Palace Stakes, third in a blanket finish for the Eclipse Stakes and second to the five-year-old Noalcoholic in the Sussex Stakes. [2]

In August, Tolomeo was one of four British-trained horses sent to Chicago for the third running of the Budweiser Million, which was then the most valuable horse race in the world. [3] British horses had performed well in the first two runnings of the race: Madam Gay had finished third in the inaugural running, and a year later Be My Native and Motovato had finished second and third behind Perrault. The "home team" was headed by the eight-year-old John Henry, supported by Majesty's Prince, Nijinsky's Secret and Erins Isle. Tolomeo was ridden by the Irish jockey Pat Eddery and started at odds of 38/1 in a fourteen-runner field, although British bookmakers were much more cautious and made the colt the 5/1 second favourite. [1] In a slowly run race, Eddery tracked the leaders John Henry and Nijinsky's Secret before making his challenge in the straight. When Nijinsky's Secret drifted to the right under pressure Tolomeo accelerated through a gap along the rail to take the lead and held of the late run of John Henry to win by a neck. [3] Tolomeo's success was the first for a British-trained horse in a major American race since Karabas won the Washington, D.C. International in 1969. His win also made him the second biggest money-earner in British racing history behind the 1979 Derby winner Troy. [2]

On his return to Europe, Tolomeo ended his season with a run in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket in October. In a race which was run in a very strong side-wind, he finished second to the filly Cormorant Wood, but was relegated to fourth for causing interference in the closing stages. [2]

1984: four-year-old season

As a four-year-old, Tolomeo continued to produce good performances but was less consistent and Timeform commented that he appeared to have become "something of a character". On his first appearance of the year he finished fourth when carrying top weight in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (then a Group Two race) and then finished seventh behind Sadler's Wells in the Eclipse Stakes. In July he was moved up in distance to one and a half miles for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. Ridden by his regular work-rider Rae Guest, Tolomeo produced one of his best efforts as he finished third behind Teenoso and Sadler's Wells. In August he finished second in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York, beaten two and a half lengths by Cormorant Wood. His form declined in the autumn and he finished unplaced in the Phoenix Champion Stakes and the Champion Stakes. [4]

Assessment

In the official International Classification for 1983, Tolomeo was given a rating of 87, making him the fifth-best three-year-old colt in Europe behind Shareef Dancer, Caerleon, L'Emigrant and Teenoso. He was rated on 87 again in the following season, making him the fourth best older male behind Teenoso, Sagace and Morcon. The independent Timeform organisation gave him a rating of 127 in both years. [2] [4]

Stud record

At the end of his racing career, Tolomeo was sold to a syndicate of Australian breeders. He stood for one season at the British National Stud before being exported to the Goree Stud in New South Wales in 1985. [4] He later stood as a breeding stallion in Japan. The best of his offspring were probably Innocent King, a gelding who won the Rosehill Guineas and the Australian Derby in 1993 [5] and Daiwa Texas, who won two Group Two races and finished third in the Arima Kinen. [6] His popularity waned in the 1990s and in 1999, his last year at stud, he sired only one foal. [7]

Pedigree

Pedigree of Tolomeo (IRE), bay colt, 1980 [8]
Sire
Lypheor (GB)
1975
Lyphard (USA)
1969
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Natalma
Goofed Court Martial
Barra
Klaizia (FR)
1965 
Sing Sing Tudor Minstrel
Agin the Law
Klainia Klairon
Kalitka
Dam
Almagest (GB)
1975
Dike (USA)
1966
Herbager Vandale
Flagette
Delta Nasrullah
Bourtai
Celestial Sun (GB)
1965 
Sunny Way Honeyway
Red Sunset
Heavenly Story Nimbus (GB)
Kings Story (Family: 13-a) [9]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Crist, Steven (29 August 1983). "TOLOMEO, 38-1, TAKES ARLINGTON MILLION". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Timeform staff (1984). Racehorses of 1983. Timeform. ISBN   0-900599-40-5.
  3. 1 2 "Tolomeo tops John Henry in Budweiser Million Race". Palm Beach Post. 29 August 1983. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  4. 1 2 3 Timeform staff (1985). Racehorses of 1984. Timeform. ISBN   0-900599-40-5.
  5. "AJC Derby". Tbheritage.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  6. "Daiwa Texas profile". Jbis.or.jp. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  7. "Tolomeo covering statistics". JBIS. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  8. "Tolomeo pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  9. "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Rutilia - Family 13-a". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2013-08-13.