A change of plans will see Tarzino kick of his Australian Derby campaign in the Group 2 $200,000 Autumn Stakes (1400m) against the three year olds at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trainer Mick Price had also nominated Tarzino for the Group 1 $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday but decided to stick to his own age with the Victoria Derby winner.
“I thought that this year’s running of the Orr presents as a really good race. A really tough race,” Price told AAP.
“I probably don’t need Tarzino to have an absolute gut buster against the good horses.
“It’s not so much where we start with Tarzino, it’s more that he goes into the Australian Derby at his best.”
The Tavistock colt has spelled well and his lead up work has told Price that he is ready to run well first up against his own age group in the Autumn Stakes.
“He’s ready to run very well over 1400 (metres) and it gives me three weeks after that into the Australian Guineas,” Price said.
Price will then send Tarzino on a multiple Group 1 mission that will start with the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5.
Tarzino will then head to Sydney where the longer distances of the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas over 2000m at Rosehill on March 19 and the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby over 2400m at Randwick on April 2 will be more to his liking.
A capacity field of sixteen looks likely for the Autumn Stakes after twenty-three three year olds were nominated, including Chris Waller’s Group 1 winners Press Statement and Vanbrugh, Darren Weir’s in-form colt Mahuta, and the John O’Shea trained Holler who is coming off a win against the older horses at weight for age in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 23.