Australian Derby winner Tavago has returned to winning form with a dominant performance for success in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse this afternoon.
Tavago failed to come up in the spring and was sent to the paddock before he could reach his major campaign targets, but the four-year-old had clearly taken benefit from his time away from racing when he worked to the line well to finish in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) first-up this time.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Blake Shinn elected to settle Tavago off the early pace of Red Excitement, who flew the barriers and ensured that the Sky High Stakes field would be strung out along the fence across the back straight.
Switching off and experiencing a carefree run in transit, the Tavistock gelding began to slowly wind up as the field approached the final bend, as Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit was off the bridle and account for before turning for home.
Shinn held an inside line with Tavago as Antonio Giuseppe took a position towards the middle of the Rosehill track upon straightening; a decision that would prove vital as the four-year-old easily found the speed with 200m to run and lengthened to register a three length win over a tiring Antonio Giuseppe.
Godolphin stayer Allergic mustered a big turn of foot in the final straight to savage the line for third and will relish a step up to 2400m into a race like the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) in a fortnight.
A good portion of the 2017 Sky High Stakes field have been set for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) during The Championships, including last year’s runner up Libran, who hit the line well for fourth this afternoon.
The Sky High Stakes win was the first for Blake Shinn on 2017 Coolmore Classic Day, who will partner First Seal in the feature race at 4:15 AEDT.