Guineas target for Tavisan

26 Jul 2018

Trainer Mick Price knows a thing or two about the progeny of Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock and even put the polish on the top-class sire himself during a brief stint in Melbourne in the Autumn of 2010.

The Caulfield conditioner saddled a pair of Tavistock two-year-olds in a 1200m maiden at Cranbourne on Thursday and both look to have bright futures.

Former New Zealand-trained two-year-old Tavisan was an impressive winner for Price, while the horseman labeled Holburt, who finished well-back in ninth, as a nice staying type.

With Michael Walker in the saddle Tavisan showed good gate speed and was never headed, winning by one and three-quarter lengths, indicating to Price he will be effective over the shorter distances.

“How he raced then was how he works,” Price said. “I’ve worked him with some nice horses and he matches up well.

“He’s a polite gelding that does everything right.

“He has trialled well and I know they get Derby distances this breed, but I remember training Tavistock for three runs and he was a genuine 1600m horse and this horse might be the same.

“He’s mature, he’s sound, he will train on, he’s a gelding, he’s uncomplicated and I will be plotting a course towards the Caulfield Guineas, as optimistic as that sounds. You can’t win it with no plans and that’s the way we will go.”

Tavisan is raced by Grant Morgan’s Ontrack Thoroughbreds and a syndicate from Queensland. 

Unplaced in four starts for Matamata trainer Jacob McKay, Tavisan raced in the best juvenile company in New Zealand and was always earmarked to join Price.

Winning rider Michael Walker was suitably impressed by the gelding’s racing manners.

“He flew out of the gates and a horse took him on, but he settled beautifully, and I actually had to shake him up before the corner as he was starting to come back to them,” Walker said.

“He put a couple of lengths on them, but then started to float.

“It was quite easy in the end and I felt that I hadn’t found the bottom of him.

“He’s won well today, but the progeny of Tavistock improve with blinkers, and further down the track we could put them on him.”

Despite being run off his feet over 1200m, Price held high hopes for Holburt and was ruing not running the colt over 1400m.

“He’s a lovely Derby type of colt. I am not sure how far we will get this spring, but he is certainly a Derby type of Tavistock.”

Price prepared Tavistock’s son Tarzino to win the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) and Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), with the trainer retaining a share in the dual Group One winner who stands at Gerry Harvey’s Westbury Stud in New Zealand. – NZ Racing Desk.