Trainer Mike Moroney has underlined the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) as the major campaign target for Tivaci after the four-year-old delivered an impressive first-up effort at Flemington over the weekend.
Tivaci was rated only an outside chance of success in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m), but produced a particularly slick turn of foot with 300m to run, to finish a close second behind multiple stakes winner Faatinah.
Moroney told Racing Victoria that the work produced by the stallion prospect suggested he would run well first-up, and revealed that the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) will figure as his next point of call, ahead of the Toorak Handicap 2016 on October 18th.
“We’re pretty keen on running at Caulfield next in the Group 1 1400m, the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, and then safely into the Toorak Handicap.” Moroney said.
“We’ll be chasing the handicaps at this stage because he’s in quite well at the weights.
“I really think that his right trip is around a mile. He has got a lot of speed for a High Chaparral.
“A lot of (High Chaparral’s progeny) can’t carry it through to 2000m, and I know Tivaci couldn’t as a three-year-old, but at some stage now we may give him a chance.
“He’s just such a big strong muscular horse, you just wonder at times.”
Tivaci resumed in autumn this year for a smart win in a Pakenham minor over 1200m before winning the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on protest, having been hampered by a run by subsequent Group 1 winner Palentino in the late stages of the race.
Failing to fire in his next two starts, Tivaci returned from a freshen up for fourth in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) in Brisbane; progressing to sixth in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) before returning to winning form in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) on July 2nd.
Moroney believes the entire has never taken more benefit from his time away from racing, and believes his first-up effort suggests he is in line for an impressive preparation this time.
“I really think he’s just turned the corner, he’s been a horse that’s thrown a few races away by just doing things wrong.” Moroney said.
“I’ve never doubted his ability, it’s just a matter of him getting his race sense right and I think he’s just starting to turn the corner now.”
Tivaci has posted four wins and a further three minors through his thirteen career starts, since debuting in 2015.