Exciting colt Tavisan announced his arrival as a serious spring player with a game second in the listed McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Ontrack Thoroughbreds managed colt has now had two Australian outings for Caufield conditioner Mick Price for an easy Cranbourne win and a close second to boom colt Brutal in Saturday’s $120,000 race.
“Tavisan showed plenty of natural ability when broken in by young New Zealand trainer Jacob McKay and that persuaded us to race him at two over there,” said Ontrack’s Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“Things such as soft tracks and wide draws didn’t help him over there but he showed his true ability when being beaten out of the placings in the last couple of strides in a Group Three at Matamata.
“He developed with a nice break over there and he’s furnished into a lovely colt, and it was great to see him step up to Saturday city company in Melbourne and perform so well.
“Being a son of Tavistock, the expectation is that he might get over a trip but he has always been a precocious type and he has tremendous early speed.
“It was that early speed that we used at Moonee Valley to get across and settle on the pace. He was pressured for much of the race by another horse and it was only the last bit that Brutal was able to get over the top of him,” said Grant Morgan.
Plans for Tavisan are yet to be set in stone, with trainer Mick Price having two options – the Group One Caufield Guineas over 1600 metres on October 13 or the Group One Coolmore Stakes over 1200 metres at Flemington on November 3.
“It’s a nice dilemma to have, but at some stage we have to make a call and set him on the right path for whatever race we decide will be his grand final.
“Being a son of Tavistock would lead you to believe the longer distance of the Caulfield Guineas is going to be the right race, but he is such a brilliant horse with a great action that it’s not hard to see him racing really well down the straight at Flemington over 1200.
“He is very closely related to the good sprinter Reilly Lincoln which has been placed in New Zealand’s major Group One sprints as well as the good sprinter Super Impressive so he might be best suited over a shorter trip,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Mick Price said Tavisan had come through his McKenzie Stakes run in great order and he would push on with a spring campaign.
“His Moonee Valley run was excellent and he confirmed what he has shown us at home. He’s a trouble-free colt and he’s a good winded horse who is sound and has a great attitude.
“He pulled up in fantastic order and he can now go to Flemington on September 15 when there are two races for him – the 1200 metres Danehill Stakes or the 1400 metres Exford Plate. He will be nominated for both and we will make a decision closer to race day.
“I like the horse a lot and think he has a bright future so we will give him every chance to get to Group One level this spring,” said Mick Price.