Trainer John O’Shea hopes to win his first Caulfield Cup in 2016 with a stronger and more mature Tally to be set towards the mile and a half classic this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
O’Shea has saddled-up two previous runners in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) without success, something he hopes can change this season with the Godolphin-raced son of Street Cry Tally.
Super-consistent as a colt, Tally has had 10 career starts for five wins, two seconds and a third.
His first big win was at Caulfield Racecourse in late February this autumn gone when winning the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) by nearly two lengths.
He won again next start going to Moonee Valley in March for an even more comprehensive victory in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) before stepping up to Group 1 company.
Last time out O’Shea put his class and staying ability to the test and was far from disappointed when Tally ran third to Tavago at Randwick in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) on April 2 during ‘The Championships’.
The rising four-year-old was spelled after the Derby run and has physically matured in big ways during his time in the paddock O’Shea told Racenet.
“He’s a horse that’s made a big quantum leap physically,” he said.
“He’d always been a bit lean but now, ‘wow, a different horse’.”
O’Shea confirmed Spring Cup ambitions with Tally saying the horse would go down the traditional Caulfield Cup path towards the October 15 feature.
“He’ll have a traditional lead-up towards a Caulfield Cup. He’s got good Caulfield and Moonee Valley form,” he said.
“At this stage he’ll stay here but will eventually go down to Melbourne.”
Key lead-up races to the Caulfield Cup include the $500,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 24 and the Flemington’s $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on Sunday October 2.
Another possible Caulfield Cup-bound horse for O’Shea this season is the imported Arab Dawn.
The five-year-old Dalakhani grey has just the one win down under on his record to date when taking out the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) at Rosehill in February.
A fourth in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) followed before a last start eighth behind Preferment in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) in late March.
“He’s another horse that has made good improvement since he first arrived,” O’Shea said of Arab Dawn.
“Another possible Cups horse that will go through the Naturalism.”
The $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) runs at Caulfield on September 17 and offers a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner.
After an historic Cox Plate win last spring the Chris Waller-trained mare Winx is narrow $15 favourite in pre-nomination Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Tally is found at the other end of the all-in Caulfield Cup odds paying $41.
Check out the full futures markets for all the spring majors including the Caulfield Cup 2016 online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where first-time depositing players (outside of NSW) are eligible for up to $500 in bonuses with use of the code BETBONUS!