In-form colt Tarzino will bypass a stakes run at Flemington this Sunday with trainer Mick Price confirming the up-and-comer for a step up in class targeting Saturday week’s 2015 Caulfield Guineas.
The Tavistock three-year-old has won two of his three starts to date, most recently overcoming the outside barrier 16 to salute by three-quarters of a length over the mile at Caulfield on September 19.
That run and the way he has come through it has Price confident he can be competitive in better company.
Originally the horse was to run in his maiden black type race on Turnbull Stakes Day this long weekend in the $120,000 Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) that attracted a bumper 29 nominations including Tarzino.
Price though confirmed he won’t be accepting the youngster into the final field of that set weights plus penalties clash, instead saving the promising Tarzino for the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
“He drew the outside barrier when he won the other day and I think he’s a real Derby horse but he’s a good colt and he’s hard fit so we’ll give him a chance in the Caulfield Guineas,” Price told Racing Victoria this week.
Two of Tarzino’s stablemates are still in the UCI Stakes mix this year with last start Listed Morphettville Guineas (1600m) winner Celtic Tiger and Sebring gelding Nurburgring who ran a disappointing 10th in the same lead-up race from September 12.
“Nurburgring is pretty one-paced but it’s difficult to assess how he would have run in Adelaide because he was held up in traffic,” Price said.
“Celtic Tiger has come through his last start well and should be suited stepping up in distance.”
The long term plan this campaign for Tarzino is the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31 on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and the best path into that lucrative feature is forefront in Price’s mind.
“I’ve had a big think about whether we went through the UCI Stakes and Caulfield Classic (2000m) into the Derby or the Guineas and Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) in the Derby and I think you can go either way without harming his Derby chances,” he said.
“You’ll see a good colt finishing hard in the Guineas and we only rode him so far back last start because of the barrier so he doesn’t necessarily have to be ridden like that.”
The $200,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) runs on Cox Plate Day, October 24, and last produced a Victoria Derby winner in 2010 with New Zealand raider Lion Tamer.
Current Caulfield Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are firmly led by the Chris Waller-trained Press Statement ($2.50).
Already a proven elite level winner over the distance after winning the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Doomben as a two-year-old back in June, Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement won his first race since last Saturday at Rosehill with an all-too-easy three length effort over Shards in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).
Now he is top fancy to become the fifth favourite in the past decade to salute for the punters and complete the Stan Fox Stakes – Caulfield Guineas double in the same fashion the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Shooting To Win (2014) did 12 months ago.
Tarzino meanwhile is rated a $17 shot in the all-in Caulfield Guineas betting markets, an equal price with the likes of the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Keen Array, John O’Shea’s Stan Fox Stakes runner-up Shards and Beneteau gelding Puritan.
Futures Victoria Derby odds though have Tarzino on top at $8 with improvement expected as he gets out over more distance.
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