Trainer Mick Price has revealed that Tarzino will not wear blinkers for the first time in more than a year, when he lines up for the 2016 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Tarzino has been a strong and consistent performer for Price throughout his entire racing career so far, which has culminated in two wins at the highest level in the 2015 edition of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and this year’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
Having returned to racing this time for eighth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) before fading badly for tenth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago, Price is confident that now is the right time for the blinkers to be taken off Tarzino, who has sported the headwear since his second career start.
“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.
“The work (Tuesday morning) was good, the time was good. He sat off The Bandit and worked to the line nicely.
“Sometimes when he doesn’t get cover he can pull in a race but when he does get cover he’s nice.”
Posting four wins and a further three minors through only twelve career starts so far, Tarzino ran third in a Pakenham minor over 1380m on debut before immediately returning to the paddock with a view towards the 2015 spring.
Making a credible transition to black type company when seventh in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), the Tavistock entire savaged the line for third in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) before taking out the Victoria Derby.
Resuming this year for fourth in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m), Tarzino was unlucky not to win the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on protest, but responded with his win in the Rosehill Guineas; ending his campaign fourth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
The 2016 Underwood Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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