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Cherry Tortoni On Derby Path

Night Of Thunder's headline act Cherry Tortoni capped his first campaign with a third victory from as many starts at the weekend at Flemington in the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m).

The Patrick Payne-trained two-year-old is closely related to champion galloper Tie The Knot who raced in the same red colours with the white hat of the Tait family.

The win at the weekend over a mile has connections aiming at the VRC Derby in the Spring as a three-year-old which is encouraging for connections of another Night Of Thunder two-year-old Cracking Night.

Todd Blum Bloodstock is in the ownership of the Shane Nichols-trained charge and race him alongside some close clients.

"Cracking Night made his debut this week and although he finished at the back of the field it was great to see him at the races," said Todd Blum.

"The narrative from Shane going into the race was that the 1200m would be a bit slick for him as he was convinced that he would need further but it was a starting point and we can go from there.

"It was pleasing to hear Shane's comments after the race and I believe he will be looking for a 1600m race or something over a bit further."

Darley recently announced that sire-sensation Night Of Thunder will be serving mares from his European base to Southern Hemisphere time.

"It's an excellent call from Darley to open the stallion up to breeder's during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season," added Todd.

"Although he is not available to everyone as he would be if he were returning to Northwood Park (Darley's Victoria base) but at least those breeders that are that way inclined can have access to him our time if they purchase a mare overseas and can bring them back with a foal in the belly that will be well sort after."

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