LAST year a conversation with Andy Gath involved the question is Tornado Valley a champion?
Having previously trained wonder mare La Coocaracha, Gath was unwilling to place Tornado Valley in the same category.
Although her career was cut short by injury, La Coocaracha captured five Group Ones on both sides of the Tasman.
“I wouldn’t call him a champion, just a very good trotter,” Gath said.
Following Tornado Valley’s latest victory at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, Gath was asked the same question.
Tornado Valley had just secured The Knight Pistol – his eighth Group One.
Since making his debut for Gath in February 2018, Tornado Valley has won 27 of his 36 starts, with four placings also to his credit.
The squaregaiter’s victories include last season’s Inter Dominion Final.
“It’s not up to me to label him, but he has the record of a champion,” Gath said. “This was his eighth Group One and he has won more than $700,000.
“If he was a pacer with eight Group One wins he’d be closer to $2million. His Inter Dominion alone was worth $200,000 less to the winner than the pacers.
“He doesn’t have that flashiness of a champion, but has the will to win, which is what champions have.”
Driven by Kate Gath, Tornado Valley overcame a back row draw to account for Wobelee and Temporale in 1:57.9 over 2240 metres.
“It was another tradesman-like run tonight,” Gath said. “He just gets out there and finds a way to get the job done.”
To be given a light week Tornado Valley will then be aimed at the Australian Grand Prix on February 29 – Lyn McPherson Memorial night.