Tavistock's Tavago Back On Track
Mark Smith - Saturday, 11 March 2017

After routing a quality field in the Group I Australian Derby at Randwick back in April last year, Tavago performed poorly in two runs in Melbourne during the spring, but the son of Tavistock looked to be back somewhere near his best with a dominant display in Saturday's $350,000 McGrath Estate Agents Group III Sky High Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.

The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained gelding made a pleasing enough return when fifth behind Winx in the Group I Chipping Norton Stakes at his most recent start.

Ridden by Blake Shinn, Tavago came with a barnstorming finish after racing midfield to defeat favourite Antonio Giuseppe (Shocking) by three and a quarter lengths with a neck back to John O'Shea's Allergic (Street Cry) in third.  ( photos Steve Hart ).

"The race was set up for him, they went a great tempo which afforded him to get into a nice rhythm," Shinn said.

"He really let down at the 300 (metres), for a stayer it was quite explosive. The horse is back to his best."

Busuttin said the weight-for-age BMW (2400m) would be Tavago's next start ahead of the Sydney Cup (3200m) two weeks later.

"He's a funny horse. Everything a good horse is, he's not," Busuttin said.

"He doesn't eat, he doesn't work well, he's not a big robust horse.

"He obviously loves Sydney because he's eaten better since the day he got here and he worked as well as he ever has last Tuesday.

"For whatever reason he enjoys it up here and has thrived. What's not to enjoy.

"He'll go to the BMW now then off to the Sydney Cup."

A $60,000 purchase from the Cambridge Stud draft at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling sale, Tavago advances his record to 4 wins, 1 second and 1 third from 11 starts for earnings of $1,615,520.

He is the third winner and first stakes-winner for the unraced Stravinsky (USA) mare Sara Ann a sister to Group II winner and multiple Group 1 placed La Sizeranne and a sister in blood to Estelle Collection the dam of Horse Of The Year Lankan Rupee.

Sara Ann has a 2yo colt by Ocean Park named Water Line that was knocked down to John Thompson Racing/Proven Thoroughbreds for $140,000 at 2016 Premier sale at Karaka and a yearling colt by Tavistcok who was knocked down to Peter Moody for $$300,000 at this year's NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling sale.

Sadly, Sara Ann's 2016 foal by Tavistock died.

The daughter of Stravinsky was bred back to Cambridge Stud's Tavistock last spring. 

Race 5 - McGrath Estate Agents Sky High
Group 3 - 2000m

Class: Open. Track: Soft(7). Time: 2:03.87. Sectional Time: 0:36.77 at 600m.
Prizemoney: $350,000 - 1st: $201,250 2nd: $66,500 3rd: $32,375.
 1   Tavago (NZ) T: T Busuttin and N Young J: B Shinn
4g   Tavistock (NZ) x Sara Ann (NZ) (Stravinsky (USA) )
Not Offered
 2 3.3 Antonio Giuseppe (NZ) T: C J Waller J: T Angland
4g   Shocking x Crystalthecowgirl (NZ) (High Chaparral (IRE) )
Not Offered
 3 3.6 Allergic T: J A O'Shea J: W Buick

5g   Street Cry (IRE) x Cajou (Encosta De Lago )
Not Offered
 4 4.5 Libran (IRE) T: C J Waller J: B Avdulla
6g   Lawman (FR) x True Crystal (IRE) (Sadler's Wells (USA) )
 5 4.9 Red Excitement T: G A Ryan J: J Parr
7g   Excites x Red Obsession (Red Ransom (USA) )
 6 5.3 Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) T: C J Waller J: Tim Clark
8g   Yamanin Vital (NZ) x Ears Carol (NZ) (Carolingian )
 7 5.5 Lasqueti Spirit T: L W Curtis J: J Ford
3f   Beneteau x Supriym Story (General Nediym )
 8 10.6 Magic Hurricane (IRE) T: J A O'Shea J: S Clipperton
7g   Hurricane Run (IRE) x Close Regards (IRE) (Danehill (USA) )
 9 15.7 Grand Marshal (GB) T: C J Waller J: G Schofield
7g   Dansili (GB) x Margarula (IRE) (Doyoun (IRE) )
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