Gear change for Tarzino in G1 Underwood

width="800" Tarzino will compete without blinkers when he runs in the Group One Underwood Stakes.

For the first time in more than a year, Caulfield Cup-bound Tarzino will compete without blinkers when he runs in the Group One Underwood Stakes.

Trainer Mick Price says the time is right for the dual Group One winner to race without them in Saturday’s Underwood (1800m) as he continues his path towards next month’s Caulfield Cup.

Tarzino has worn blinkers since his second race start after Price felt he did not concentrate on debut.

He says the horse works without blinkers and the trainer is trusting Tarzino won’t get distracted without them on raceday as he aims for a third Group One win.

“I think it’s time, with where we’re going with him as a true staying horse, to take the blinkers off, let him relax and give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s going to attack the line,” Price said.

“So Saturday will be interesting.”

Price was pleased with the horse’s work on the course proper at Caulfield on Tuesday in company with The Bandit.

“The work was good, the time was good. He sat off The Bandit and worked to the line nicely,” he said.

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“Sometimes when he doesn’t get cover he can pull in a race but when he does get cover he’s nice.”

The winner of last season’s Victoria Derby and Rosehill Guineas, Tarzino’s program includes the Turnbull Stakes eight days after the Underwood before he heads to the Caulfield Cup on October 15.

The Bandit holds an Underwood nomination but trainer John Sadler has instead decided to run him in the Harry White Classic (2400m).

Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina re-acquainted herself with the Caulfield course proper on Tuesday when she galloped with Happy Trails.

Trainer Kris Lees’ travelling foreman Mal Ollerton, who rode Lucia Valentina in Tuesday’s hit-out, said the mare had settled in well since arriving in Melbourne on Sunday in preparation for the Underwood on her way to the Cox Plate.

“I was happy enough with it. It was nice work,” Ollerton said.

“They just went over six furlongs and breezed home the last three (furlongs, 600m). They weren’t out to break any records or anything. It was just to keep her ticking over and keep her in order for Saturday.

“It was her normal, usual work and she’s settled in well since she’s been here, but she always does. The travel never really worries her too much.”

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