Triple Group One winner Tofane was back in action at the Flemington jump-outs on Monday after a brief break from her winter exertions.
The Michael Moroney-trained daughter of Ocean Park enjoyed a hit-out over 800m on the outside of the course proper, with Craig Williams aboard, who partnered the mare to victory in both the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
“She trialled really well. She was a bit on the fresh-side,” Moroney said.
“Craig had a lot of trouble trying to slow her down, and it didn’t look a quick heat to the eye (47.96) but she appeared to be doing it easily the whole way and he never really moved on her.
“She looks nice and bright and I’d say by the time she has another jump-out we should be ready to run the 1400m of the Memsie (Group 1) all going well.
“We are backing the fact she is taking residual fitness off a pretty short campaign of only four starts in the autumn and winter.”
The Memsie Stakes will be run at Caulfield on August 28, with the six-year-old mare to be tried up to a mile for the first time in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 11, in a campaign where connections hope to extend the mare over even further, with the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) a possible target.
“We are taking it a race at a time. We have planned on the Makybe Diva being the second-up run, as long as we are happy with what we see in the Memsie,” Moroney said.
“Each step we take, we get closer to the crossroads of having to work out what distance we are going to point her towards in the main part of the spring.
“She has finally got mature and finished growing and is putting muscle and meat on now. Just on the scales, she has put on a nice amount with the brief break she had, which is a good sign. She is one that never used to do that well in the paddock.
“We have got to remember that she is pretty lightly raced still. She is an older mare now, but she has been given a chance to get longevity out of the fact that she didn’t start racing until she was a late three-year-old.”
Tofane was bred by Curraghmore’s Gordon Cunningham, who entrusted her to the care of Ballymore Stables’ Matamata barn, headed by Pam Gerard, for whom she won her 820m trial at Te Teko as a three-year-old.
She was subsequently sold to Australian-based stable clients, including prominent owner Rupert Legh, and transferred to Moroney’s Flemington barn where she has won seven races and more than AUD$2.6 million in prizemoney.