Victoria Derby hopeful Tarka will wear blinkers for the first time when he lines up in the Group 1 $500,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Tarka is one of eighteen three year olds nominated for the Spring Champion Stakes and will follow the same path as his stablemate Ace High who won last year’s version before going on to claim victory in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Tarka blemished his recent winning record with a last start second to Spring Champion Stakes favourite Thinkin’ Big in the Group 3 $200,000 360DMG Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 22 and trainer David Payne is hoping the addition of blinkers will help the All Too Hard colt to find his way back to the winner’s stall this weekend on his way to the Victoria Derby on on November 3.
“I think he will appreciate a firmer track and we will put blinkers on him,” Payne told AAP.
“He needs to focus more. He hit a flat spot in the Gloaming so the blinkers should help him.”
Tarka has worked his way up through the grades and after recording his initial win in the a 1600m two year old Handicap at Warwick Farm on July 11 was a winner over 1600m in BenchMark 66 Handicap at Warwick Farm again.
Payne then stepped Tarka up sharply in class and the colt responded with a narrow win in the Group 2 $200,000 The Daily Telegraph Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on September 8 before being runner up in the Gloaming Stakes.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Thinkin’ Big burst into contention for the Spring Champion Stakes with a first up all the way win in the Gloaming Stakes and looks to be a potential topline stayer of the future.
Dealmaker is the only Chris Waller trained three year old nominated for the Spring Champion Stakes and showed his credentials with a first up third to Danawi in the Group 3 $150,000 Visit Monaco Ming Dynasty Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on August 25 followed by a close second to Tarka in the Stan Fox Stakes.
Early betting for the 2018 Spring Champion Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Thinkin’ Big, $5.50 Aramayo, $7 Dealmaker, $8 Frankely Awesome, Mickey Blue Eyes, Tarka, $10 Purple Sector, $15 Maid Of Heaven, $21 Botti, Irukandji, Ole Ole, Visao, $41 Cloak, Panzerfaust, Savvy Oak, $101 A Man To Match, Home Ground, Not A Single Cent.