Tavago upstaged dominant favourite Tarzino to record an upset victory in the 2016 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
It was one way traffic in the lead-up to the Australian Derby and Tarzino started the race as a very short-priced favourite, but the son of Tavistock pulled throughout the run and had nothing to offer when asked for an extra effort by Craig Newitt.
Tommy Berry elected to ride Tavago aggressively in the Australia Derby in a complete turnaround to how he was ridden when sixth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and his decision paid dividends when the three-year-old ran away from his rivals in the final stages of the race to record a dominant victory.
Berry said that he went into the Australia Derby full of confidence because of the respect that he has for trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and he was delighted to have recorded his first Australian Derby victory.
“One of my best thrills in racing was winning the Hong Kong Derby on Designs On Rome and to do it here on my homeland in Australia is brilliant,” Berry said.
“I was confident because how often do you see Trent Busuttin come over with a horse and when he does he is confident and they run well.
“I knew that he would stay all day, so I took a bit of a shortcut home on the corner and he was very strong to the line.
“I can’t thank Trent enough for giving me the ride and I am glad I could do it for the Kiwis.
The training partnership of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young are set to make the move to Australia in July to open stables at Cranbourne and Tavago could not have given them a better advertisement with his Australian Derby win.
Young was quick to paid credit to the ride of Berry and she revealed that she was always confident that the gelding would produce a better performance in the Australian Derby then he did in the New Zealand Derby.
“It is absolutely unbelievable,” Young said.
“We picked this horse out with the owners early on at the yearling sales and it was a huge ride by Tommy.
“He got him to jump and put him there and he just destroyed them.
“We are completely over the moon.
“He was dappled up, he looked amazing and he looked far better than he did before the New Zealand Derby.
“We have the Queensland Derby in the back of our mind, but we will definitely give him a rest of a couple of weeks and see how he pulls up and comes through it.
“It is a great win to have especially ahead of our move to Cranbourne.”
Jameka produced another brave effort to finish second, while Tally ran on fairly for third over a very disappointing Tarzino.