Storming back to form

Storming The Tower (left) getting the better off third-placed subsequent Group One winner Authentic Paddy  in the 2016 Rotorua Cup, while runner-up Gentil Tonton was wider on the track.

Cambridge trainer John Bell is due a change of fortune and it could come via his fine old handicapper Storming The Tower.

Bell suffered a couple of severe blows last month as within two days he lost his smart filly Kapoor and the talented Enough.

Kapoor, a multiple stakes-placegetter, was being set for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) the following weekend when she shattered a fetlock during trackwork and had to be humanely euthanised.

However, Bell is never one to dwell on the knocks in life and he was in a happy mood after watching Storming The Tower produce an eye-catching fresh-up second under the steadier of 74.5kgs at Rotorua yesterday.

Having not raced since last October, Storming The Tower was expected to need the run first-up over 1950 metres, but he gave his fans something to cheer about as he surged through along the inner to make for an interesting finish with the eventual winner Brilliant Action.

“I thought he was going to get there for a while,” said Bell. “It was a very pleasing run.”

Storming The Tower has won seven races, including the 2016 Rotorua Cup – Cornwall Handicap double, and last winter he was tried over fences, resulting in placings in each of his four attempts. His closest placing was a second to Clapathunda at Rotorua last September.

“I might get some Cups runs into him and get him super-fit before putting him back over hurdles,” said Bell. “He likes it here at Rotorua so he might have a go at the Rotorua Cup again.”

Bell is also pleased with the progress being made by another of his open handicappers, Gentle Tonton.

“Unfortunately he pulled a shoe before the Auckland Cup and couldn’t start in it,” said Bell. “He’s doing a lot of work and I may have to split him and Storming The Tower.”

Gentle Tonton has also shown a liking for Rotorua, having won the Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup on the track last July and being stakes-placed when second to Maygrove in the Listed Jakkalberry Classic the previous October three starts after chasing Storming The Tower home in the 2016 Rotorua Cup when trained by Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott.