Classy entire Sheer Talent will make his debut as a four-year-old when he returns to racing in the Listed Tavern Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Sheer Talent has not been seen at the races since the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing where he was one of the surprise packets in the three-year-old ranks.
The son of Redoute’s Choice started his campaign with a fourth place finish behind Mirage in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in February before recording an upset win over a star-studded field in the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Sheer Talent stepped up to Group 1 level for the first time in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington and hit the lead with 300 metres left to run before fading in the final stages of the race to finish third behind Ferlax and You’re So Good.
The Gerry Harvey-owned galloper stepped up to 2040 meters for the first time in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) and indicated that he could be competitive over staying trips as an older horse by finished a narrow second behind Vanilla.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh told Sky Racing HQ that he believes Sheer Talent is a horse with plenty of potential but is unsure whether he will start his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a first-up victory in the Tavern Stakes this weekend.
“He has been right around the mark in group company,” Kavanagh said.
“His form first-up is not the best; he is a stallion and normally takes a while to find his mark.
“He is a promising horse his last three runs have all been at group level and he has been placed in all of them.”
Sheer Talent will need to be at his best in the Tavern Stakes; with a number of quality horses included in the nominations for the race.
Darley gelding Launay has been allocated the top-weight of 60kg by the handicapper, while Peter Moody-trained Lidari will carry 59.5kg and is coming of the back of a third place finish behind Fiorente in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
Other interesting Tavern Stakes nominations include: David Hayes-trained Pago Rock, Group 3 winner Startsmeup and highly-rated gelding Don’t Get Excited.