Flemington’s Michael Moroney will give his Group 3 winning youngster Tivaci a final shot at winter glory backing the horse up off an unplaced Brisbane run in the 2016 Sunshine Coast Guineas on Saturday.
Winner of the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington back in February on protest before a disappointing 12th to Palentino in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), High Chaparral colt Tivaci has been unable to finish in the money since.
This campaign he’s had two runs, both in Brisbane, but on Saturday will look to turn things around with a trip to Caloundra for the $125,000 Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
A total of 23 three-year-olds are nominated for this year’s Sunshine Coast Guineas including last Saturday’s Listed Daybreak Lover (1400m) winning filly Sold For Song.
If accepted into the capacity 18-starter Sunshine Coast Guineas field, the Toowoomba-trained daughter of Collate will be looking to go back-to-back for the fillies after the success of Chris Waller’s subsequent six-time Group 1 winner Winx in 2015.
Tivaci meanwhile ran fourth to Waller’s Counterattack first-up on May 21 at Doomben in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) before his sixth to Tsaritsa in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
He was defeated just two lengths by the winning Queensland Guineas filly who backed-up with a close third, beaten only a half-length in the Daybreak Lover last weekend on Tattersall’s Tiara Day.
Despite his inability to perform at the highest level as yet, Moroney retains his high opinion of the colt who could be gelded after this campaign ahead of a spring return.
“I’ve always thought he has got Group 1 ability,” he told AAP.
Moroney believes there have been excuses for the horse’s earlier Queensland Winter Racing Carnival runs and hopes he can get back to his best on Saturday.
“He really hasn’t had a lot of luck up here,” he said.
“He probably came down the worst part of the ground (on the fence) in the (Queensland) Guineas.
“He has got back in both his starts and run home strongly. They’ve both been good runs, he just hasn’t had a lot of luck.”
Local Queensland hoop Damian Browne retains the ride on Tivaci this weekend backing up from a stellar Group 1 winning ride on Miss Cover Girl in the Tattersall’s Tiara last Saturday.
Moroney will be in the Sunshine State this week watching over Tivaci’s work on Tuesday and Thursday mornings ahead of his Guineas bid.
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