Last year’s Australian Derby winner Tavago is back in contention for a Caulfield – Melbourne Cup campaign during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Cranbourne based co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young produced Tavago to win the 2016 Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and they had high hopes for the rising four year old during the Spring.
Tavago never fired during the 2016 Spring Carnival with an eleventh in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley followed by a tenth in the Group 1 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
The Tavistock gelding was back in the winner’s circle during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival in the Group 3 $350,000 McGrath Estate Agents Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill but then pulled up lame when last of eight in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 25.
“When he came back to scale he was properly broken down. It was five out of five lame,” co-trainer Trent Busuttin told AAP.
“I went up and said to the owners, ‘we won’t be seeing this horse until the autumn next year’.
“But two days later it was down, there was no swelling and no soreness. We scanned it and he had basically given it a very hard tweak.
“So we actually worked him for a couple of days thinking we might be a chance of going to the Sydney Cup but we thought better of it and pulled him out.”
Tavago is back in work now after a ten week break and Busuttin is preparing him for the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 and the Group 1 $6m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.
“He’s doing a bit of trotting and quiet cantering,” Busuttin said.
“In a couple of weeks I’ll give him a scan just to be safe and if all is well, we’ll just progress through to the spring.
“And obviously with a horse like him the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup is the target.”
“At the moment, touch wood, he’s fine.”
“But if the scan reveals that it’s not 110 per cent we’ll forget about the spring and look towards the autumn
“If he stays sound he’s got to be a genuine chance in a race like the Caulfield Cup.”