Group Two winner Tavi Mac will try to get his spring preparation back on track at Arawa Park on Sunday when he lines-up in the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m).
The Tavistock gelding put in an uncharacteristic subpar performance when finishing ninth in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa last month and trainer Allan Sharrock was able to find the reason behind the poor showing.
“He has never not competed in his life, so something had to be wrong,” Sharrock said.
“He had a shoulder injury and a slight heart murmur, so we had to kick for touch and try to get him back to where we wanted him.”
As a result, Tavi Mac missed the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival but Sharrock believes he has his homebred six-year-old back on track.
“I am pretty sure he is 95 (percent), he seems pretty right at the moment and won a jumpout on Monday,” he said.
“Hopefully we are on target for Sunday.”
Sharrock felt the 1215m of the Sweynesse was a good starting point for Tavi Mac, who will jump from barrier seven with northern hoop Danielle Johnson aboard.
“He’s a 1400m to a miler, so he has got to kick-off somewhere and 1200m seems good enough at this stage,” he said.
Tavi Mac will be met by a couple of in-form horses on Sunday, including Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) runner-up Spring Tide and Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) winner Marscapone.
“Marscapone is a good horse and I think the ground (rated Slow8 on Thursday morning) will suit Spring Tide,” Sharrock said.
Having missed his initial key targets of the spring, Sharrock is now looking towards summer features with his charge if he performs up to expectation.
“We will get through Sunday and make a plan,” Sharrock said.
“There is plenty of racing around Christmas, the Captain Cook (Group 1, 1600m) is coming up, there are going to be some good opportunities.”