Caulfield horseman Mick Price has confirmed his Victoria Derby winner Tarzino for a 2016 Rosehill Guineas run this weekend in Sydney on Golden Slipper Stakes Day.
Price is gearing up for a massive day at Rosehill Gardens this weekend as he also saddles-up the top two fancies in the meeting’s feature.
Stablemates Extreme Choice and Flying Artie ran one-two in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne late last month and will face off again in the $3.5 million Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Price shoots for his first win in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, and is also yet to win the $600,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) where he saddles-up his gun Tavistock colt Tarzino.
Tarzino won the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival before returning with a first-up fourth when chasing home Mahuta in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13.
He returned to Flemington on March 5 stepping up to a mile for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) where he was defeated by the barest of margins by the Darren Weir-trained Palentino.
Tarzino’s hoop Craig Newitt lodged a protest against Palentino and his jockey Mark Zahra, but it was dismissed by the stewards and the placings stood.
This weekend Tarzino gets the chance to atone for the narrow loss when stepping out over 2000m for the first time since his third to classy filly Jameka in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day last October.
“He worked the reserved way at Caulfield on Saturday morning and hugged the rail,” Price told The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.
“I’m very happy with him.”
The extra metres are set to suit the proven mile-and-a-half galloper whose major aim this time in in Sydney is the $2 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 2, Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
“He comes up there for the Guineas and then the Australian Derby,” Price said.
“He is still in the [$4 million Group 1] Queen Elizabeth Stakes [over 2000m on April 9 at Randwick] but at the moment I have no intention of running him, [the entry] is there as a safety thing.
“I would like him to have the next couple of runs then have a spell and get ready for the spring.”
The Rosehill Guineas has produced six of the past seven Australian Derby winners including Mongolian Khan (5th) last year and Criterion who completed the double in 2014.
The Australian Guineas meanwhile hasn’t produced a Rosehill Guineas winner since Diatribe (6th) in 2000, with most three-year-olds opting to come into the race via the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
This year’s Randwick Guineas winner in an upset over Press Statement was the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain who is nominated for the Rosehill Guineas, weight-for-age $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and $700,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on Saturday’s Sydney race card.