Stable stalwart Tavi Mac is making timely progress toward another campaign with Group features again on his radar.
The Allan Sharrock-trained son of Tavistock has multiple stakes victories among his career tally of 12 wins from 23 appearances and his preparation will be stepped up a gear this week.
“Tavi Mac will be having a jump-out on Thursday and he’s rated above 100 so we will have to utilise full claiming apprentices early on,” Sharrock said.
“Then we’ll be hopefully looking at the Foxbridge Plate (Group 2, 1200m) and the Tarzino Trophy (Group 1, 1400m).”
The six-year-old has contested two previous editions of the Foxbridge and was unplaced last season having finished runner-up to former star mare Avantage in 2020.
Sharrock also has a number of bright, young prospects who will be given their chances at higher levels in upcoming preparations.
Among them is the Showcasing four-year-old Butler, who has won four of his eight starts and has finished runner-up on three occasions.
“He’s an outstanding horse and he will jump-out on Thursday too. He will be nominated for the Foxbridge and Tarzino as well,” Sharrock said.
“He had bone chips taken off his knee last prep and is as sound as a bell now and going along pretty well.”
Darci La Bella has six wins and four placings from her 10 appearances and the daughter of Darci Brahma will be on a similar path.
“She is a super mare and will be more potent in the spring. She will either run at Hastings on July 2 or at Te Rapa on July 9,” Sharrock said.
“I’ll ease off her and get her ready for the Foxbridge and probably throw in a nomination for the Tarzino.”
Two-year-old Sophmaze will be given the opportunity to complete a juvenile black-type double following her hollow victory in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m).
“She’s had 10 days off and was pretty dominant at Waverley and she’ll take a power of beating in the Ryder Stakes (Listed, 1200m) and probably then into the Wanganui Guineas (Listed, 1340m),” Sharrock said.
The highly regarded pair of Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) winner Shamus, who is still on a break, and top distance prospect Ladies Man will be taken along quietly.
“We’re letting Shamus grow and will probably have some serious targets around Christmas,” Sharrock said. “When I see him back he will be a cracking individual with a lot of power.
“Ladies Man is probably as good a staying horse as I’ve had for some time. He is very, very smart and I think the Wellington Cup (Group 3, 3200m) will be his main go.
“He might only have two more runs and then give him a month off before we start his preparation toward a race like that.”
Meanwhile, Sharrock is pondering the future of the 98-rated Justaskme, who was a last-start second in the Listed Ag Training Stakes (1650m) at weight-for-age.
“He’ll have too much weight in the Opunake Cup (Listed, 1400m) and the Winter Cup (Group 3, 1600m). I looked at Sydney and there are no races for him there,” he said. “It’s got to the stage where retirement is imminent.”
He has also voiced concern at the perceived inconsistencies around recent meeting abandonments.
“It’s getting bad and I feel for the people producing the product – the owners,” Sharrock said.
“They raced at Woodville a week ago in atrocious conditions and then decided to pull pin at Hawera.
“They raced at Timaru yesterday in shocking conditions and went through the card. There has to be some consistency, otherwise we might as well turn our winter horses out.
“I’ve been in the game a long time and it’s very frustrating. We don’t want anyone to get hurt, but if it’s cold and wet and no-one slips then we should get through the day.”