Aust Derby winner gearing up for return

MELBOURNE Aug 14 2016

Australian Derby winner Tavago is on target to kick off his spring campaign in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.

Trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, Tavago is scheduled to have a 1000m jump-out at Cranbourne on Monday.

Tavago is one of a number of horses Busuttin and Young now have in work at Cranbourne after making the move from New Zealand last month.

The trainers are currently preparing their horses at a local property awaiting the completion of their on-course stables.

Tavago stayed in Australia following his Australian Derby success in April and underwent six weeks pre-training with Leon and Troy Corstens before Busuttin and Young took over.

Busuttin said Tavago was now around 40kg heavier than when he won the Australian Derby and while he will strip off some of that weight in coming weeks he expects him to race heavier than he did during the autumn.

The four-year-old Tavistock gelding begins his spring campaign in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27.

The plan is to then tackle the Makybe Diva Stakes and Turnbull Stakes at Flemington in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup on October 15.

"He's a stayer but as long as he's hitting the line in the first couple we'll be happy and then if he's going to be a legitimate chance in the Caulfield Cup he's got to be competitive in the Turnbull," Busuttin said.

"I think he'll get in well at the weights in the Turnbull unless he wins one before which I think would be doubtful."

Busuttin believes Tavago should be a dual Derby winner, as was last year's Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan, after having an unlucky passage when sixth in the New Zealand Derby in March.

"The query from everyone is he just a wet tracker that got the right day," Busuttin said.

"That's a logical question, but we're fairly confident he will step up.

"He's come up brilliantly and we haven't squeezed him yet, but we will do soon."



Craig Brennan - AAP

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