Tally will head to the 2016 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick on April 2 after he upstaged Palentino to win the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley last night.
Palentino went into the Alister Clark Stakes as a dominant favourite following his victory in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5 and jockey Mark Zahra elected to settle the son of Teofilo in the second half of the field.
Zahra elected to take off on Palentino coming around the bend, but Craig Williams was quick to get on his back on Tally and the Godolphin three-year-old outstayed his rival in the final stages of the race to record an impressive victory.
Godolphin assistant trainer David Charles said that the stable went into the Alister Clark Stakes with plenty of confidence and he confirmed that the Street Cry colt would press on to the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) in a fortnight.
“He’s always promised he could put together a race like tonight,” Charles told the media after the race.
“John’s had a lot of faith in him – hence he’s been very patient with him.
“It’s paid dividends tonight and we’re absolutely thrilled.
“That was his immediate target in Melbourne.
“There’s no secret that the autumn is coming up in Sydney and I’m pretty sure that will be one of his targets that John will talk about.”
Palentino tired in the final stages of the race and only narrowly held on to finish second from Hardern.
The Australian Guineas winner was originally set to head to Sydney for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) following the Alister Clark Stakes, but trainer Darren Weir said he will now assess what he does with the talented colt going forward.
Tally is set to challenge Tarzino for favouritism in 2016 Australian Derby betting markets after recording four wins from as many starts this preparation.
He recorded his second race win in the Woodend Cup (1450m) at Kyneton on January 30 and he took out the Danny’s Burgers Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley on February 12 before he claimed a maiden black-type victory in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on February 27.
Tarzino is currently available at 2016 Australian Derby odds of $2.70 with Ladbrokes and he is favourite from Tally ($6), Jameka ($9), Vanbrugh ($9), Montaigne ($10) and Gold Ambition ($11).