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Tonka Aiming High

After an outstanding Autumn campaign which resulted in three consecutive city wins, trainer Brad Graham now has eyes set on an ambitious Spring campaign with the promising Western Australian galloper Tonkatuff.

Tonka Aiming High

After an outstanding Autumn campaign which resulted in three consecutive city wins, trainer Brad Graham now has eyes set on an ambitious Spring campaign with the promising Western Australian galloper Tonkatuff.

Tonkatuff winning the Crown Towers (Bm72+)
Tonkatuff winning the Crown Towers (Bm72+) Picture:Press Photo

“I have been delighted at the improvement that his bloke continues to make,” said Graham. “He’s such a big, strong and athletic horse that it was obvious that he only needed time to mature to fulfill his potential.”

After a short break, Tonkatuff Horseform is now back in work and Graham is raising the bar for this exciting son of Therock (Fastnet Rock).


“We are looking at some pretty good races for him and will target the $100,000 Listed Hannans Handicap at Kalgoorlie in September and the $100,000 Listed Northam Cup in October,” Graham said.

“Who knows, if he can get through those races and continue to make natural improvement, we may also roll the dice and have a crack at the Group 1, $1m Railway Stakes,” Graham said. “I know it’s a big ask, but if he can make the same improvement this campaign that he did last time, then its something we will be considering. He’s certainly the best horse that I have trained,” he added.

Both Graham and owner/breeder Brad Cooper have become big fans of Tonkatuff’s sire, ‘Therock’.

“I really like the breed,” Cooper said. “I have seen the stallion and he is one of the best looking stallions that you could ever wish to see. He is clearly stamping his progeny and they all seem to be big, strong and athletic types – just like him,” he said.

Cooper set about finding another progeny by Therock and recently purchased a 2yo filly out of a WA mare, Xaartos. The mare is half sister to stakes winner All Friared Up.

“I purchased the filly from Victoria and when she arrived and got of the float at my property, I couldn’t have been happier. The similarities between her and ‘Tonka’ are quite incredible,” he said. “ I’m now looking at sending another mare to Victoria to be covered by Therock”.

Therock (Fastnet Rock – Bumps) was an expensive weanling from the first crop of Fastnet Rock. Trained by leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan, Therock impressively won two Sydney 3yo races and was ruling favourite for the G1 $1m New Zealand Guineas. There was no doubt in Gerald Ryan’s mind that Therock was going to deliver Fastnet Rock his first Group 1 winner. Regrettably for connections, the horse pulled up sore from his impressive Rosehill victory (where he defeated multiple subsequent Group winners) and was eventually retired to stud.

Therock was lured to stand his first season in Western Australia however was moved to Bombora Downs on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria in the following year.

From limited opportunities, Therock continues to produce winners around the country with Mercury Rock winning impressively at the recent Bendigo meeting and Miss Harley Quinn winning in Western Australia.

It is clearly evident that Fastnet Rock is creating his own sire dynasty similar to that of his own sire, Danehill. Hinchinbrook, Rothesay, Smart Missile and Stryker have all enjoyed success and sired numerous stakes winners. Whilst Therock may not have won a stakes race, there was no questioning of his ability and superior physical appearance. It seems just a matter of time when Therock will also be producing multiple stakes winners.

Therock is again standing at Bombora Downs for the 2017 season. His stallion fee is just $3,500 + gst.

To book your mare or for information contact Christoph Bruechert on 0419 534 961 or (03)59 836 802 or email to [email protected]

Racing And Sports



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