Jockey Craig Newitt gives Tarzino some chance of success in the 2016 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday, but concedes that the track may be too hard for the multiple Group 1 winner.
Tarzino returned to racing in autumn this year in typically blistering form, but the entire has failed to completely live up to his billing since returning as a four-year-old this time in.
Placing eighth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) first-up on August 27th, the son of Tavistock has since finished tenth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and eighth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) before a slightly improved effort for sixth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago.
Newitt told Racing Ahead that both he and trainer Mick Price are pleased with Tarzino’s condition leading into the Caulfield Cup, but believe he could require a softer racing surface to return to winning form.
“I’m happy enough with him,” Newitt said.
“He’s probably just racing a little bit dour this time in. Obviously he’s gone from three-year-old company up to weight-for-age, which I don’t think is ideal for him.
“In those weight-for-age races you just need a big change up speed which he seems to not have this preparation.
“All his runs, apart from last start he’s been really good through the line. I just reckon the other day he felt the track pretty bad.
“Hopefully it won’t be rock hard and there will be a little bit of jar out of it because I know the horse is going well, he’s got a good weight and great gate, and I’m sure he’ll run well.”
Tarzino will leave from barrier 4 with only 54.5kgs in tow in the Caulfield Cup and Newitt is hopeful that he can use the ideal draw to his advantage in the early stages of the race.
“I haven’t really spoken to Mick, but I think he’ll be in the first half. From his gate, you don’t want to sort of throw it away,” Newitt said.
“You just have to roll past the winning post the first time and try to stay out of the carnage that normally happens going past the post.
“Once you go out of the straight you find your spot and if we’re fifth, sixth or seventh somewhere, it would be ideal.”
Tarzino has posted an impressive career total of four wins and three minors through fourteen career starts, since making his debut in July of 2015.
Posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2400m) last spring, Tarzino resuming this year for fourth in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) before finishing an agonizingly-close second to Palentino in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Savaing the line for an impressive win the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Tarzino was returned to the paddock after over-racing and fourth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) in April.
Tarzino is currently available at 2016 Caulfield Cup odds of $31 with Ladbrokes Australia.