Co-trainer Trent Busuttin has confirmed Tavago is more likely to be saved for a delayed first-up run in the Makybe Diva Stakes 2016 over a run in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes this weekend.
The ATC Derby winning New Zealand raider missed out on his original kick-off when pulling a tooth, going off his feed and subsequently being scratched on Saturday morning from the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
The four-year-old son of Tavistock has bounced back very quickly, pleasing Busuttin with a strong gallop on Monday morning over 1000m at Cranbourne.
He finished second in the jumpout under the guidance of jockey Ben Melham, both trainer and hoop impressed with the cruisy effort.
“Ben Melham gave him a squeeze at the top of the straight and he came up underneath him nicely and did what was asked of him,” Busuttin told Racing Victoria.
“We may have been a bit over cautious [missing the Memsie Stakes], but it’s the start of a long campaign and he was sulking a bit after having the tooth out on Friday but he’s come through it good and it’s not an issue.”
Trained at Cambridge in NZ by Busuttin and Natalie Young, Tavago was last seen winning the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) over the mile and a half in an upset as a $41 roughie at Randwick on April 2.
That took his overall career record up to three wins, a second and a third from seven runs.
The team are now looking at a rescheduled return for his four-year-old and Melbourne debut in the $500,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on September 10.
He has also been nominated for the weight-for-age $250,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse this weekend and hasn’t completely been ruled out.
“We’ll probably accept at the Valley on Saturday but more than likely stick to the original plan of running him in the Makybe Diva,” Busuttin said.
“We’ll just see how he pulls up this week and give him another bit of work on Thursday and go from there.”
Dissident was the last four-year-old to win the Makybe Diva Stakes in 2014 on the back of his Memsie Stakes success that autumn.
Tavago is a genuine stayer with two wins and a third from three previous 2400m runs, a distance he’ll be back out over for a shot at the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup on October 15.
After his first-up run Busuttin confirmed the galloper would have just one more Caulfield Cup lead-up in either the $500,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 24 or Flemington’s $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 2.
Fawkner (3rd in 2013) was the last Turnbull Stakes graduate to back-up and win the Caulfield Cup next time out, while the Turnbull Stakes – Caulfield Cup double was last achieved by Elvstoem back in 2004.
To back Tavago next race at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au who have him at $17 in all-in 2016 Caulfield Cup odds.