Armidale Stud’s quiet achiever Tough Speed

Armidale Stud’s quiet achiever Tough Speed

by Kristen Manning

A bit of history was made at Devonport on Sunday where four of the seven races were won by the progeny of one stallion – Armidale Stud’s quiet achiever Tough Speed.

Success came early on the card with the opening event, a BM60 1009m contest, taken out by the Leanne Gaffney trained Artuso who impressed charging home down the centre of the track – overhauling the leader to win by a soft half length.

It was win number three from just 14 starts for the up-and-coming gelding whose win came despite a hefty 6kg rise in the weights.

“He has been a slow maturer both mentally and physically,” Gaffney said, “but he has always shown ability and he is improving all the time. I am sure he will develop into a very handy horse.”

Bred and part-owned by Montree Stud’s Mandy Gunn, Artuso boasts an interesting pedigree hailing from the same family as Tough Speed’s high achieving sire Miswaki.

“I have liked him since he was a foal,” Gunn said, noting that Artuso has a bit of the look of her first Tough Speed, the dual stakes winner Banca Mo.

“He has the same sort of energy Banca Mo had, the good Tough Speeds seem to have that,” she said, adding that she is excited about sending another mare to the in-form stallion this week.

Also bred by Gunn was Tough Speed’s next winner White Hawk who, after working to get to the lead from a wide gate in the BM74 1880m event, proved a class above his rivals with a particularly tough three length victory – briefly challenged at the 200m before kicking clear.

What a grand career this fellow has had, this latest success his tenth from 47 starts. Figuring in the placings on a further 15 occasions, he has won at three Tasmanian tracks over a variety of distances from 1400m to 2150m.

It was a Tough Speed running double with favourite Street Tough flying past his rivals in the BM74 1150m, the Scott Brunton trained six-year-old doing a terrific job coming back in distance and rising in class.

Boasting a great strike rate, Street Tough has won six of his 18 starts and was also tough winning at Geelong in mid-June, sitting wide but finding plenty.

Street Tough’s dam Butter Street has done a wonderful job with Armidale stallions, by Helike producing the 11 times stakes winner Hellova Street and by Savoire Vivre the Listed winner Streetwise Savoire. And there is more to come from her two Alpine Eagle colts.

The day ended brilliantly for Tough Speed with the Armidale bred Take The Sit doing just that in the Class 1 1350m, the Bill Ryan trained four-year-old travelling beautifully behind the leader before hitting the lead at the 250m.

From there he was engaged in a two horse war, showing good heart getting the upper-hand late, in doing so recording his second win in a row from just five starts. It was a fun watch for Armidale Stud who raced his dam Tula, a terrific race mare who won five races… a mare who has a lovely Alpine Eagle yearling colt coming through.

“I have been a fan of Touch Speed for years,” Ryan said, “and I was saying to David (Whishaw) only last week that if Savoire Vivre had not been around he would’ve been the leading stallion.”

“I was delighted to win two in a row with Take The Sit,” he continued, “as we had to be patient with her after she had a set back after her second run. We are looking forward to seeing where she goes from here.”

Into his 17th season at Armidale, Tough Speed has never served big books but he continues to do the job with five stakes winners amongst his 109 winners.

At a fee of just $2,500 he is one of the best value stallions around, a great choice for breeders wishing to produce toughness and durability.

Tough Speed’s success is no surprise given his race record and pedigree, the imposing bay being by Mr Prospector’s outstanding son Miswaki (Gr.1 winning Champion Sire of 95 stakes winners including 14 Gr.1 winners) out of a mare by the legendary Nijinsky II.

The most recent UK Triple Crown winner, the UK Horse Of The Year and Canadian Hall Of Fame member has well and truly made his mark on the breed with his 151 stakes winners (34 Gr.1 winners) and his 235 stakes winners (46 Gr.1 winners) as a broodmare sire.

A half-brother to the stakes winner Asyouwish, Tough Speed is a grandson of the multiple stakes winner Joy Returned, dam of the dual Gr.3 winner Stalwars and the two times Listed winner Joy Of Glory.

A four length winner at two at Doncaster, Tough Speed was a Gr.3 winner of the Park Stakes at that same track at four having sadly missed most of his three-year-old season due to illness. Thought highly enough of to contest the Gr.1 Hong Kong Mile, he would go on to perform consistently at stakes level, achieving a Timeform rating of 123 – described by that publication as “a good sort who consistently took the eye in the paddock.”

For further details on Tough Speed contact:

David Whishaw 0407 868 269 [email protected]

by Kristen Manning

Kristen Manning is a freelance racing writer and pedigree analyst based in Melbourne. A keen owner/breeder who loves every aspect of thoroughbred horseracing, she has written two books focusing on the deeds of Fields Of Omagh and Prince Of Penzance.

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