2017 Caulfield Cup in Mind for Tavago

September 5, 2017

2017 Caulfield Cup in Mind for Tavago

Last year’s ATC Derby winner Tavago steps out at Moonee Valley this weekend kicking off a possible Caulfield Cup 2017 campaign in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes 

Tavago is on track for a berth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Tavago is on track for a berth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Formerly raced in New Zealand, the Tavistock gelding is now prepared at Cranbourne by the relocated training duo of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young. 

Young spoke to Racing Victoria this week and confirmed the team had in mind an October 21 target for five-year-old Tavago in the Group 1 $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m). 

“We’ve got the Caulfield Cup in the back of our mind and that would be nice to get him there, but we’ll just get the first-up race out of the way and make sure he pulls up fine,” Young said.  

A winner of four of his dozen starts to date, Tavago resumes racing on Saturday racing at weight-for-age in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m). 

It will be his first start since things went amiss for him at Rosehill on March 25 when a Heavy (9) track got the better of him and he finished dead last beaten nearly 20 lengths by last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m). 

Prior to The BMW failure Tavago was in ace form, defeating the Chris Waller-trained Antonio Giuseppe by over three lengths in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) carrying 58kg to the impressive win.  

The Sky High success was the galloper’s first since he beat home the aforementioned Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka as a three-year-old at Randwick in April of 2016 in the Group 2 ATC Derby (2400m).  

Last season Tavago also raced first-up in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes but failed to make a real impression running six lengths back 11th behind Awesome Rock.  

His Caulfield Cup campaign was shelved soon after as the horse succumbed to illness and raced just once after the Dato’ when last (10th) to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.  

He tuned-up for what connections are hoping will be an atoning Valley run with a nice gallop at Cranbourne on Monday finishing second in a 1190m heat.  

“He trialled super,” Young said. 

“Zac Spain rode him and he was nice and quiet with him out of the gates, he just nursed him along. 

“He finished off nicely and ended up running second hard held and he’s pulled up really good.” 

There will be give out of the Valley track on the weekend, with the course currently rated a Soft (5), and Young hopes that will work in favour of Tavago.  

“The track conditions at Moonee Valley could just be a little bit more forgiving for him first-up, but we’ll make a call later in the week depending on how he eats up and everything like that,” she said.  

Current all-in Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Tavago as a $41 shot, while pre-field Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes betting has him listed at $7.50 to beat the Lindsay Park-trained favourite He’s Our Rokkii 

To back Tavago over the spring and to access the top Group 1 racing markets over the coming weeks head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.  

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