Quality performer Tavi Mac bounced back from his worst career performance in the best possible fashion with a stylish victory in the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) at Rotorua on Sunday.
The Allan Sharrock-trained six-year-old, affectionately known as Frodo by his many admirers, had inexplicably failed to fire a shot in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa last month when confidently expected to be one of the leading lights in the race.
It was the first time the son of Tavistock hadn’t shown any fight in a race and had Sharrock scratching his head as he took him home for a thorough check-up which resulted in him missing an opportunity to contest the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings, which had originally been a major campaign target.
After some remedial work, Sharrock was convinced he had Frodo back to his best for Sunday’s feature sprint and so it proved as Tavi Mac showed all his customary dash in the hands of Danielle Johnson to race clear in the home straight for a comfortable win over Packing Rockstar and Foxbridge Plate winner Mascarpone.
The consistent galloper paid a generous +290, with Mascarpone sent out an even money favourite in the seven-horse field.
“He’s never not competed so it was a bit of a mystery at Te Rapa,” Sharrock said.
“We took him home and gave him a good going over and found an issue with his shoulder that Tommy Burns worked on and got right, so a big thanks to him.
“He had a jumpout earlier this week where Hazel (Schofer) rode him and she told me he might be one short for today.
“I had the luxury of that extra day with the meeting on a Sunday, so he had a good hit-out on Thursday, which brought him along a little more.
“He still had a good blow when he came back in after the race, but it was just good to see him back to his normal self, as when he is right, he is a pretty handy horse.”
Sharrock has another elite assignment on the radar for Tavi Mac, with the Group 1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on December 4 a target.
“I’d like to run him in the Captain Cook at Trentham, but he will need a start before then,” Sharrock said.
“I want to give him a start at 1400m before he goes to the mile, so we will look around for one in about two weeks for him.
“After the Captain Cook, we will just put him away over summer when the tracks get too firm and then bring him back in the autumn.”
Raced by Ann and Hec McCallum, who bred him along with Sharrock and the late Joe Fleming, Tavi Mac has now won twelve of his 19 career starts and over NZD$315,000 in prizemoney.