The Group 1 $500,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27 will be the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival opener for Australian Derby winner Tavago.
Tavago was prepared by co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young to win the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 2 and the rising four year will now be set for the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 15.
Busuttin and Young have moved their training operation from Cambridge in New Zealand to Cranbourne and Tavago will be prepared for the Spring Carnival from their new Victorian base.
“We’re excited to get to Cranbourne and start this next chapter and hopefully we can make our mark on the Victorian and Australian scene,” Busuttin told racing.com.
“The new on-course stable development and its close proximity to the training tracks were very appealing to us and will provide us with modern facilities to train our team from.”
Tavago with Tommy Berry in the saddle caused a huge upset in the Australian Derby when he arrived at $31, leaving the $1.65 favourite Tarzino languishing in fourth place.
Tavago handled the soft conditions well on the day while the Mick Price trained Tarzino failed to produce his best form.
Tarzino will get his chance to turn the tables on Tavago with Price also flagging the weight for age Memsie Stakes as the Tavistock colt’s first Spring Carnival appearance on his way to a possible start in the Caulfield Cup.
While Tarzino was comprehensively beaten in the Australian Derby, he did manage to win two Group 1 trophies with victories in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival and in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
In early Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Tarzino is listed as the second favourite at $17 behind Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx at $15 while Tavago is marked as a $21 chance.