Flemington trainer Michael Moroney is eyeing Group 1 mile features at home during the upcoming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for his classy Sunshine Coast Guineas winner from the weekend Tivaci.
Moroney was confident his three-year-old High Chaparral colt Tivaci could return to winning form after a luckless Queensland Winter Racing Carnival campaign when he jumped favourite in Saturday’s $125,000 Group 3 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
His confidence paid off as local hoop Damian Browne got the galloper to the ideal part of the track, albeit accidently, to come from just off the pace and fly home on the straight at Caloundra’s Corbould Park.
“I must have found the crown of the track by accident,” former Kiwi Browne told The Courier Mail post-win on Saturday.
“But in all honestly, everything worked out beautifully. He travelled really nicely and I probably got to the front a little bit too soon because I was going that easy.
“But he just took off and got the job done. Fortunately, he was able to show what we knew he was able to do.”
After sitting fourth on the fence, by the line Browne and Tivaci ($3.20F) had a tidy one and a quarter lengths to spare over Peter & Paul Snowden’s up-and-comer High Spirit ($6.50).
High Spirit, a fellow son of gun sire High Chaparral, came off a last start fourth behind Tsaritsa in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 and co-trainer Peter Snowden said the youngster would improve getting up over 2000m next campaign.
“I think he wants further and 2000m will be no problems for him,” he said.
“Travelling away from home has improved this horse out of sight and I think he could have a bright racing career in front of him.”
Tivaci also ran in the Queensland Guineas leading up to the Sunshine Coast edition, finishing two lengths away sixth in a run Browne was always confident he could improve on getting back home at Caloundra.
“That day in the Queensland Guineas he began terribly and was well back and on the inside of horses,” Browne said.
“He didn’t appreciate that but that day I had no option but to look for a run on the fence which was no good.”
Third past the post in the Sunshine Coast Guineas trifecta was the Kevin Kemp-trained Collate filly Sold For Song from Toowoomba.
She also ran third in the Queensland Guineas before winning the Listed Daybreak Lover (1400m) on Tiara Day, Kemp confirming a spell for her after she did well for another Black-Type placing on the quick back-up.
“She has done a great job this campaign, and to run home so strongly from last in the Guineas was a great effort,” he said.
“She will have a break now and I will have a think about where we take her when she comes back.”
Moroney is now looking ahead to the spring features for Tivaci and said races like $500,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 10 and the $1 million Group 1 Longines Mile (1600m) on October 29 at Flemington Racecourse were likely targets.
“In the spring he’ll be aimed at the Group 1 mile (races),” he told Racing Victoria.
“We’ll probably leave him a colt for the spring at least, because we’d like to find a stud for him.”
Tivaci’s last Group 1 assignment produced a disappointing 12th to Palentino at Flemington in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 5 on the back of his protest win over the same galloper in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).