Melbourne jockey Ben Melham has picked up the ride on Australian Derby winner Tavago when he resumes for the Spring in the Group 1 $500,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27.
Tommy Berry was aboard the former New Zealand trained Tavago when he scored an upset win in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’, but the highly rated Sydney jockey is required to ride at Rosehill on Memsie Stakes Day.
Co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have transferred their training operation from Cambridge in New Zealand and will prepare Tavagao for his Spring Carnival from their new Cranbourne base in Victoria.
Melham had his first feel of Tavago when he rode the new season four year old into second place in a 1000m jump out at Cranbourne on Monday and said that he felt terrific.
“It was the first time I’ve been on his back and he gave me the feel of a real stayer,” Melham told racing.com.
“It was a pretty casual jump out, he travelled well under his own steam and coasted to the line to place second under a hold.”
“I’m expecting he will run well fresh but there is no doubt he will improve as the races get longer.”
Busuttin and Young are currently preparing their horses from Les Theodore’s stable and will have forty-six boxes when their new facilities are complete at the end of August.
“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.”
The Memsie Stakes will be Tavago’s springboard into the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival with the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 15 one of his major Spring targets.
In early Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Tavago is on the second line at $17 with three other contenders, Our Ivanhowe, Provocative and Trip To Paris while beaten Australian Derby favourite Tarzino heads the market order at $15.