Michael Moroney’s Sunshine Coast winner Tivaci is making good progress towards his spring return where the youngster will be restricted to no further than a mile targeting a Group 1 win.
The High Chaparral colt has won four of his 12 starts to date and was last seen taking out the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) in Queensland on July 2.
That was his first victory since a protest win Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) success at Flemington in February over first-past-the-post Palentino.
Palentino went on to win the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) next run over the 1600m at Flemington, a race Tivaci was only able to run 12th in.
The Australian Guineas is the only Group 1 race on the rising four-year-old’s record to date, but his Flemington-based trainer Moroney plans to target the elite levels over 1400m – 1600m this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“He arrived back in the stable yesterday, he looks terrific. He’s only had a short break,” Moroney told Racing Victoria on Thursday.
“We’ll target those Group 1 1400m and 1600m races over the spring.”
The season’s first top level clash is the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on August 27.
If that comes around too quickly for Tivaci, September is host to a number of suitable options for the progressive galloper including the $500,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) also run at Caulfield – a race Moroney won in 2002 with Pernod.
Tivaci may also be stretched out to a mile again for a race like the $500,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on October 8 or the Group 1 Longines Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, November 29.
After the Sunshine Coast Guineas success, Moroney said his Ballymore Stables received a number of offers to buy the three-year-old, but that part-owners Rupert Legh and Lou Petagna – of Lucia Valentina fame – weren’t interest in the price.
“The offers weren’t high enough to say yes,” he said.
“He’s a well-bred colt with speed for a High Chaparral, and the High Chaparrals have started off well at stud.
“For that reason, we haven’t sold.”
A Group 1 win over the spring would have a major impact on the stud value of Tivaci.
Moroney is also looking at a spring bid with French import Dance Of Life, purchased for just 400,000 euros at the Arqana Summer Sale at Deauville at the start of the month.
Formerly prepared by Carlos Lerner, the progressive colt was last seen winning a 2011m race at Saint-Cloud in mid-June.
Prior to that he finished runner-up to Craven’s Legend in the Pre Catelan Stakes at Deauville over the same distance, defeating home Mont Ormel (3rd) by a short head.
Mont Ormel went on to frank that form winning his next two starts including the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (2400m) over the mile and a half at Longchamp on July 14.
“Since we’ve bought him, we’ve been pretty lucky that a horse he beat at his second-last start went and won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris,” Moroney said.
“There was a Group 2 the following week, the horses (that) ran second and third had form around him.
“We’re lucky that if he went through the sale ring now, we’d be paying a bit more for him.
“He brings strong form around him coming to Australia.”
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