Trainer Mick Price is leaning towards taking the blinkers off Tarzino when he lines up in the Group 1 $500,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Tarzino has worn the blinkers in all bar one of his twelve race starts and won the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival and the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill during this year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival carrying the head gear.
Tarzino is heading towards the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 15 and possibly the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1 and even though the four year old has been well beaten at his two Spring Carnival runs to date, Price is happy with his progress.
The Tavistock stallion finished eighth first up, beaten six and three quarter lengths, to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27, and the ran tenth to Palentino, beaten six lengths, in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
“Tarzino’s going great. I’m really happy with how he’s going,” Price told Racing.com’s Correct Weight on RSN 927.
“Craig (Newitt) was here Saturday morning riding 4-5 horses in work; we worked Tarzino on the steeplegrass.
“We worked that horse by himself, no blinkers, and he was beautiful.
“I’m at the stage where I might take the blinkers off for the Underwood, and have a look at him.
“We can always put them back on.
“Originally, we started off with no blinkers, but he was a colt and he got very distracted in races so we put them on. It was what he needed at the time.
“Getting up to 2000m, 2400m, Caulfield Cup, maybe Melbourne Cup… the last thing I want to see is the horse pull.”
“If he gets cover and is relaxed, he’ll put himself in a spot, but if he doesn’t get cover, he can start to pull a bit.”
Price is hoping for a good performance in the Underwood Stakes before Tarzino has his final Caulfield Cup lead up run in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
“He’ll run in the Underwood. Then the plan is to go an eight-day back-up into the Turnbull, then the Caulfield Cup.”
Tarzino is currently listed at $17 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Caulfield Cup while the John O’Shea trained Hartnell heads the market order at $8 just ahead of last Saturday’s Naturalism Stakes winner Jameka at $9.
Hartnell is racing in scintillating form in Sydney and has strung together two outstanding wins, a seven and three quarter lengths towelling of his rivals in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 3 backed up by a five and three quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Early market order for the Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $8 Hartnell, $9 Jameka, $13 Exopshere, Scottish, $15 Highland Reel, $17 Our Ivanhowe, Tarzino, The United States, $21 Articus, Hauraki, He’s Our Rokkii, Tavago, $26 Idaho, Preferment, Set Square, Sofia Rosa, Tosen Stardom.