Cherry Collect added the Oaks d’Italia to her earlier win in the Premio Regina Elena to become a dual Classic winner on Saturday for her sire Oratorio, who is enjoying a great run of success in 2012.
The Coolmore stallion did not stand on the stud’s Irish roster this season having remained in Australia, where he is represented by the high-class colt Manawanui, winner of the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes.
Oratorio, who won the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at two and followed up with top-flight wins at three in the Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes, made a splash with his first-crop runners when Big Audio became his first Royal Ascot winner in the Chesham Stakes and his sons Beethoven and Fencing Master filled the quinella in the Dewhurst Stakes in 2009. Subsequent Group winners in Europe include Lolly For Dolly and the Aidan O’Brien-bred King Torus.
Sadly, however, despite covering a bumper book of 181 mares in 2010, the good-looking son of Danehill is listed as having been sent only 28 mares the following season, which may well explain Coolmore’s reluctance to return him to the northern hemisphere for the 2012 covering season.
There may yet be a second wave of support for him though, after some highly promising results so far this season, highlighted by the Stefano Botti-trained Cherry Collect, a daughter of the winning Hernando mare Holy Moon, who was trained by Botti’s father Alduino.
Other good performers for Oratorio in 2012 include the Group winners Esentepe (Nell Gwyn Stakes) and Moonwalk In Paris (Prix Edmond Blanc) plus Listed scorers Silent Killer in Italy and Takar in Ireland, while the South African-trained, Australian-bred Ottimo won the Group 2 Umkhomazi Stakes at Scottsville.