Tulsa was ridden as a back-marker throughout his Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but trainer Mike Moroney expects the promising gelding to settle in the first half of the field in the 2016 Manfred Stakes at Caulfield tomorrow.
Tulsa started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival preparation with an impressive win in the Polytrack Maiden Plate (1100m) at Pakenham on August 25 and he produced a couple of eye-catching performances from the tail of the field in the Listed Exford Plate (1400m) at Flemington on September 12 and the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 26 before he was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing eighth in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
The son of Sebring was ridden as a backmarker throughout his spring preparation, but Moroney believes that the three-year-old was a victim of circumstances and will take up a forward position in the 2016 Manfred Stakes this weekend.
“He kept drawing the outside gates and we had to go back from those gates every time,” Moroney said.
“When he won his maiden his possied up and it was over 1100 metres and he ran a pretty good time.
“He has a bit of speed and now that he has drawn a gate we will not have to get as far back as what we have been.
“He will be up in the first half of the field from that draw.”
Tulsa was sent straight to the spelling paddock following his credible effort in the Caulfield Guineas and Moroney believes that the three-year-old took plenty of benefit from his break from racing.
Moroney said that Tulsa is now a much stronger horse and it would not surprise him if the gelding was able to record a first-up victory in the Manfred Stakes.
“He has furnished a lot,” Moroney said.
“He was very uneven and that was my concern in the spring and he never really carried much.
“He always looked as though he was just a good preparation behind, but he has certainly caught up now and he is very well.
“He has had one jump out and he went well.
“He is not a flash track worker, but compared to lots of his work he threw in a really good piece of work on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he won at all, he was up to them in the spring and I think that he has improved.”
Tulsa is currently available at 2016 Manfred Stakes odds of $10 with Ladbrokes and he is on the fifth line of betting behind Golden Spin ($4), Palentino ($4.80), Vostok ($6.50) and Ready For Victory ($7.50).