Victoria Derby winner Tarzino finished last in a Geelong barrier trial on Monday, but trainer Mick Price is still happy with the colt’s Autumn Carnival preparation.
The Geelong trials set down for Monday were switched from the course proper to the synthetic track and even though Price, along with many other trainers, weren’t happy, he still sent Tarzino around.
Price said that Tarzino needed the hit out and even though he failed to beat a runner home in the five horse 1200m trial won by stablemate Celtic Tiger, the Caulfield trainer and jockey Craig Newitt were content with the result.
Newitt told Price that he didn’t push Tarzino out in the early stages of the trial when there was plenty of kick back from the artificial surface, but was pleased with the way the Tavistock colt went to the line.
“When he stopped getting kickback he finished off well. The horse is going great,” Newitt told the Herald Sun.
Price agreed with Newitt and will now head to the Group 1 $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13, the first of four races Price has selected for Tarzino’s Autumn Carnival campaign.
“It also was a crawl then a sprint home. He’s going fantastic,” Price said.
Price doesn’t expect Tarzino to be at his best in the weight for age C.F. Orr Stakes over 1400m but that will tune him up nicely for Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas over 1600m at Flemington on March 5.
Price will then turn his attention 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.
“He’ll be even better suited in the Rosehill Guineas and then he’ll love the extra distance in the ATC Derby,” Price said.
Tarzino has already proved his staying ability with a two lengths win in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
In early Australian Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Tarzino is the $4.60 favourite, just ahead of the Kiwi colt Xtravagant at $4.80 with 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Pride Of Dubai next in the market order at $11 with Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh.