Mick Price is no stranger to preparing Classic winners and the trainer is hoping former New Zealand colt Tavisan can emerge as a Caulfield Guineas contender.
Tavisan was unplaced in four New Zealand starts as a juvenile before joining Price’s stable in Melbourne.
The colt made a winning introduction to Australian racing in a 1200m maiden at Cranbourne last month and steps up in grade in Saturday’s Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Tavisan worked nicely at Moonee Valley on Monday and Price has put the three-year-old on a path towards the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October, a race the trainer won last spring with Mighty Boss.
“He had four starts in New Zealand and they always said he went well,” Price said.
“We thought he went well galloping and trialling him, and I thought he would go well in his maiden at Cranbourne and he did.
“I needed to see if he put his trackwork and his race day together, which he did, so now he’s going on a Caulfield Guineas program.
“I think he’s a promising colt and he’ll be better once he gets past 1200 metres.”
The McKenzie Stakes has a field of 12 with impressive debut winner Brutal the early $1.85 favourite on Wednesday while Tavisan was $34.
Five unbeaten horses feature in the field including Marcel From Madrid who resumes after winning his two starts last season including the Group Three National Stakes in Adelaide.
Tavisan led all the way in his 1-3/4-length Cranbourne win and has barrier nine on Saturday.
“I’m trying to get him into the Caulfield Guineas so once he gets over a mile I don’t want the horse to get into a habit of doing what he did at Cranbourne, as in racing aggressively,” Price said.
“I’ll leave it to Michael Walker how he rides him from barrier nine, but certainly I don’t want him to be scrubbing him to be outside the speed in that race.
“If he ends up there, well and good.”
Fighting Harada, another horse Price has on a Caulfield Guineas path, was a luckless fourth at Sandown on Wednesday.