The Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration is one...
Caulfield Cup favourite Tarzino races second-up in the 2016 Maybe Diva Stakes at Flemington this weekend but his trainer Mick Price warns the dual Group 1 winner isn’t geared up to win.
A four-year-old son of Tavistock, Tarzino is one of 15 nominations for Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
The stallion comes off a first-up eighth to fellow Makybe Diva Stakes hopeful Black Heart Bart on August 27 at Caulfield in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Darren Weir’s Memsie Stakes champ Black Heart Bart is the red hot favourite in pre-field Makybe Diva Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.10 to score his second Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Group 1 win in as many starts.
Tarzino meanwhile is paying $8.50 and occupying the third line of all-in Makybe Diva Stakes odds to improve on his 6.85 length loss last time out when he gets out over the mile.
Although pleased with his galloper’s progress, Price doesn’t believe Tarzino will be winning this weekend despite his narrow second over the track / distance when nosed out of the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) win in March by Palentino.
“A win would be great of course but it’s a not a race that we’ve got him geared for, I thought he ran well first-up and he’ll run well again on Saturday,” he told Racing Victoria.
The horse is set to peak once he stretches out over more metres later this campaign as he did for his Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) success at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Tarzino became a dual elite level winner as a three-year-old in the autumn in Sydney taking out the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and is after his first win since.
He is already one of a host of early favourites in futures betting for the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) held on October 15 over the mile and a half at a quote of around $17 for the win.
Also lining-up at Flemington for the stable on Saturday is Hardham who will take on a field of fellow three-year-olds in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
Paying $13 in pre-field Danehill Stakes odds led by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained McNeil Stakes winner Defcon ($6), Redoute’s Choice colt Hardham was last seen running sixth in the same Group 3 lead-up a fortnight ago.
Price planned to give the galloper a four week rest after that mid-field finish before tackling the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 24, but has changed his mind after Hardham galloped strongly at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.
“I put blinkers on him this morning and Craig Newitt rode him and he showed a good turn of foot and a bit of dash,” Price said.
“Damien Oliver saw the work and said ‘that’s what he needed that horse’, he needed blinkers.
“I was going to give him four weeks between runs but [the Danehill] is a Group 2 race and I’ve kept him fresh, today was his only gallop going into the run, so for what’s at stake and what’s to be gained if he does go well I’m definitely going to run him with the blinkers on.”
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