The performance of Tarzino in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2 will determine what his main Spring Carnival goal will be.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price will give Tarzino three runs leading into the Turnbull and then decide if the 2015 Victoria Derby winner follows a weight for age path for the rest of the Spring Carnival or heads on a Cups campaign.
A weight for age campaign would result in Tarzino running in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 then onto the old Mackinnon Stakes, the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the last day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
But if Price thinks that Tarzino is developing into a staying type, he will head to Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
“The Turnbull is the fork in the road, we’ll get to the Turnbull via that route and work it out from there,” Price told racing.com.
Price has selected the Group 1 $500,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27 as Tarzino’s Spring Carnival starting point and then the four year old will progress onto the Group 1 $500,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
Tarzino will then line up two weeks later in the Group 1 $500,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield as his final lead into the Turnbull Stakes the following week.
“I didn’t want to give him a gut-buster first-up over a mile,” Price said.
“He’s a pretty genuine horse and he tries very hard so I didn’t want to give him a tough run in the Makybe Diva (Stakes) where I would have had to have had him tuned up and then he’d have been second-up in the Underwood (Stakes) and I felt like I would have been playing catch up.
“He couldn’t win a 1400m Group 1 at weight for age I wouldn’t have thought because these weight-for-age races are never really run so that back-markers can sweep home, they usually crawl around and the best horse wins.”
Tarzino proved to be the superior staying three year old during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival when he scored a two lengths win in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
Price then campaigned the Tavistock colt in the Autumn and after finishing second to Palentino in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington travelled to Sydney to collect his second Group 1 trophy with a win over Montaigne in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill.
Tarzino was then sent out as the short priced favourite for the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick but the race wasn’t run to suit and he struggled into fourth place behind the Kiwi gelding Tavago.
In early Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Tarzino is currently the second pick at $17 behind Winx at $15 while in the Melbourne Cup he is marked as a $21 chance.
The Chris Waller trained Winx also heads up the market order for the Cox Plate at $2.80 with Tarzino listed at $26.