Tavi Mac, the surprise package of this season, made a pleasing start to his preparation at Foxton on Tuesday when comfortably winning his 1000m trial.
The rising six-year-old gelding won four of his seven starts this term, including the Listed Matamata Cup (1400m), Listed Levin Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m), and finished runner-up in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m).
Trainer and co-breeder Allan Sharrock was pleased with his first serious hit-out of his spring preparation and said he is set to follow a similar path to last year.
“He did it in a breeze today and Leah (Hemi, jockey) was very happy with him,” the Taranaki horseman said.
“He has had a couple of jumpouts and a trial. I am looking at possibly kicking him off in an Open 1100m on Ryder Stakes Day or waiting a fortnight and going to Te Rapa, leading into the Foxbridge.
“He will head to the Tarzino Trophy (Group 1, 1400m), that’s our goal. It is always hard to beat those weight-for-age horses, but you have got to have a crack.
“He did nothing wrong last year. It was his first full season of racing and he did a pretty good job.”
Looking ahead to racing this weekend, Sharrock will head to Awapuni with Penelope Cruise and Butler.
“The blinkers go on Penelope Cruise and she will be ready to put her foot in the till as long as it is heavy,” Sharrock said.
“With Butler’s last start run, where he was a beaten favourite, Tauranga can trip horses up and I think you can forget that run. He worked well this morning.
“They are both good chances on Saturday.”
Sharrock will also take two runners north for Te Rapa’s meeting on Saturday.
“Justaskme goes around in the Open 1200m and I have got a two-year-old, Catsacharmer, who won first-up at Otaki,” he said.
“They are both positive chances, so hopefully we get another one somewhere.”
Sharrock currently sits on 49 wins for the season, his best tally to date, and he is hoping he can bring up his half-century this weekend.