Owner Mary Slack seems to have a found a decent sort in the Brazilian-born son of Elusive Quality whether he runs on sand or turf. He was well supported on debut to go off as the 17-10 favourite in a race over 1160m on the Turffontein standside track but was restless at the start, suffered a mouth injury but still managed to finish a four length second behind Talca.
In his next start Toro Rosso, which literally translates into Red Bull, raced on the Vaal turf track and going off at 6-10, did not let his supporters down. Despite hanging in the closing stages and making a respiratory noise, Toro Rosso easily beat Kahal Legal by 1.60 lengths.
Then De Kock put his charge on the sand. There must have been a large degree of confidence as many Brazilian-bred horses enjoy the sand and he was sent off a 2-1 favourite.
However, I doubt even the most optimistic of stable personnel could have foreseen the manner of the victory in this 1200m race as Toro Rosso came clear to beat The Gobi by eight lengths.
He returns to the Vaal sand tomorrow in Race 6, a MR 91 Handicap over 1450m, and the rise in class is likely to be met by a rise to the occasion. Toro Rosso was penalised the maximum eight points (4kg) for that victory and he may still be well ahead of the handicapper.
He looks likely to benefit from the extra 250m and with just 55.5kg to shoulder looks likely to give Johnny Geroudis a winning opportunity.
There are many runners capable of chasing Toro Rosso home but with the Sean Tarry yard in such excellent form that position could go to Prince Jazeem.
He is not the soundest of runners but is a most accomplished performer when in the right frame of mind. The son of Toreador has won over 1200m on the sand early in his career but failed in his only other start which was over this course and distance.
At that stage, though, he was not running well on any surface but has come back well from a long rest and with regular jockey Raymond Danielson up, should put up a good gallop. Others with chances include The Royal Rumba, Green Rock and Brad’s Surge.