Trainer Trent Busuttin has revealed that stable star Tavago is a ’50-50’ chance of travelling to Sydney to contest Saturday’s Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
Tavago is on a Spring Carnival campaign geared towards the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and possible progression to the Melbourne Cup this season, and returned to racing for eleventh in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
Busuttin is confident that a step-up in distance will see Tavago right in the finish of his next assignment, but he is yet to decide if the Hill Stakes 2016 or the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on Saturday-week will figure as the horse’s next point of call.
“He’s coming up really well and it’s 50-50 at this stage whether we shoot him up there for the Hill Stakes or if we wait for the Underwood,” Busuttin told the NZ Racing Desk.
“We’ll just have a think about it over the next couple of days, but whatever happens he’ll be third-up into the Caulfield Cup.”
Tavago stamped himself as one to watch when debuting to racing for second in the Waterview Opening 2017 Maiden (1400m) in his native New Zealand in the spring of 2015, before posting a maiden race win in the Fairview Motors Maiden (1600m) on November 7th.
Making a successful transition to black type racing with success in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) on November 27th, Tavago returned from a freshen-up for third in the Listed Karaka 3.y.o Mile (1600m) but failed to make anything of his appearance in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) on February 6th.
Completely luckless in running when sixth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 5th, the Tavistock gelding was rated virtually no chance of success in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on Day 1 of The Championships, but produced a particularly dominant effort in the final straight to win the feature by close to four lengths.
Tavago is currently available at early 2016 Hill Stakes odds of $11 with online bookmaker Ladbrokes Australia.