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    Champion trotter creates history in Group One Champion trotter creates history in Group One

    TORNADO VALLEY - Photo HRV

    “It was almost a comeback fairytale story that just doesn’t really happen!” TO KATE Gath’s delight, fairytale comebacks do happen. Just moments before her... Champion trotter creates history in Group One

    “It was almost a comeback fairytale story that just doesn’t really happen!”

    TO KATE Gath’s delight, fairytale comebacks do happen.

    Just moments before her statement Gath partnered outstanding trotter Tornado Valley to victory in the Great Southern Star at Tabcorp Park Melton.

    First-up from a four-month break to win his heat earlier in the evening, Tornado Valley backed-up just over two hours later to capture the $300,000 Final.

    In doing so the Andy Gath-trained gelding became the first champion to successfully defend his title, having captured last season’s edition for the leading couple.

    “To win the heat and the Final is almost too good to be true,” Gath said. “These horse are probably just one in a million.”

    After leading throughout from barrier two in his qualifier, Tornado Valley was beaten for early speed when Magicool surprised all by finding the front from gate five.

    Enjoying the run of the race behind the front runner, Tornado Valley finished strongly along the sprint lane to grab the lead in the last stride – scoring by a half-neck from Magicool.

    Majestic Man fought on gallantly after racing in the ‘death seat’ to be three-and-a-half metres away third.

    Registering his 10th Group One triumph, Tornado Valley rated 1:57.1 over 1720 metres…four seconds slower than his track record performance in his heat!

    Owned by Norm Jenkin, the son of Skyvalley took his record to 37 wins and 28 placings from 101 starts for earnings of $975,117.

    A decision will be made within the next few days whether Tornado Valley will tackle next week’s The Knight Pistol – a Group One he has already captured twice.

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    Paul Courts

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