The jury was still out, but Michael Clements’ gun Tavistock sprinter Tannhauser showed he was just as lethal on turf as he is on Polytrack with a superlative performance in the $100,000 Class 2 race over 1200m on Sunday.
The four-year-old by boom Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock had raced only once previously on grass and that was at his debut back in November 2016 when he was probably not ready yet. He ran fifth.
His subsequent five starts have all been on the all-weather, when he reeled off four wins in a row before he came unstuck at his last assignment in a Kranji Stakes B race over 1000m three weeks ago.
The Zimbabwean-born handler was vindicated in no small measure when the Jubilant Racing Stable-owned gelding sprang back to winning form when stepped up to 1200m on Sunday afternoon.
Granted, the low draw and the ideal trip in transit behind race-leader Darc Bounty made his task easier, but Tannhauser still had to lift when the pressure came pouring on upon straightening.
Going swiftly through his gears, Tannhauser sprinted clear to score by 1 ¼ lengths from Darc Bounty with Flak Jacket bursting late to grab third place another short head away. The winning time was a new class record of 1min 8.77secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
“He actually ran good at his last start. It was just too sharp for him,” Clements said.
“We always wanted a six-furlong race for him, but there were no other races for him. Today, he box-seated nicely and Vlad gave him a great race, and he is going really well.”
Clements has now set his sights on the JBBA Rocket Man Sprint (1200m) on April 1, the first Leg of the Singapore Sprint Series for the up-and-coming sprinting force.
“We’re looking at the Rocket Man Sprint for him, but he needs to run at least two times over turf,” he said.
“The Sprint Series will be his main goal.”
Duric admitted to being a little concerned when they were landlocked in the box seat, but was relieved things worked out well in the end.
“He’s got an extravagant action and I thought we just needed a bit of luck in the box-seat today,” said the 2017 Singapore champion jockey.
“But a run appeared at the right time and the horse did the rest. He’s a very exciting horse and has a very good engine. He is progressing the right way but he will be in for some hot competition going up better horses soon, but he deserves to have a crack.”
With that fifth win, Tannhauser has now amassed prizemoney in excess of $$220,000 for his connections. -STC