He may be small, but he is mighty. That’s trainer Allan Sharrock’s summation of consistent galloper Tavi Mac after his Listed Courtesy Ford Levin Stakes (1200m) victory at Otaki on Thursday. The diminutive gelding only had five rivals in the race as a result of the heavy track conditions, but that didn’t concern Sharrock.
“He has had three goes on wet tracks, two on Slow and one on the Heavy, and he has won them all. It doesn’t really worry him,” Sharrock said. “You just go to the races with him because he is a genuine racehorse.”
Under a patient ride by jockey Troy Harris the pair bided their time off the pace and upon entering the straight Harris navigated his charge to the inside of leader Deerfield to take control of the race. They were able to hold out the late challenge of Burgundy Belle to win comfortably by 1-1/4 lengths, with a further 3-1/2 lengths back to Deerfield in third.
Tavi Mac hadn’t raced since winning the Listed Matamata Cup (1400m) last month, and Sharrock was particularly impressed with Thursday’s performance given Tavi Mac’s 60kg impost, seven more than runner-up Burgundy Belle. “He had a blow, he hadn’t raced in some time,” Sharrock said. “He’s a nuggety wee fella. 60 kilos is quite an impost for a horse who is only 14.3 hands.”
It was Tavi Mac’s eighth victory from just 13 starts and Sharrock continues to be impressed by the gelding he co-bred. “He just keeps lifting the bar and he did it quite comfortably in the end. We are proud of him,” he said. “He has won probably 80 percent of his races and the ones he has lost he could have won too. “He is a long way from being a champion, but he is a freakish little horse – with his structure, his size, and what he does. He is a special horse. “If you would have copped eyes on him you wouldn’t have had him. “Nobody would have bought him and nobody would have brought him out of his box. It just goes to show you have got to try them all.”
Tavi Mac will now try and make it a hat-trick of stakes wins at Awapuni next month when he contests the Group 2 Kevin Pratt Memorial Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m). “He will go to the weight-for-age at Awapuni on the 19th of December,” Sharrock said. “I have thrown in a nomination for the Thorndon Mile (Group 1, 1600m) and the Telegraph (Group 1, 1200m), whether we continue there or back-off after Palmy I haven’t really decided. He has done a good job and he will tell me.”
Earlier in the day stablemate Waisake won the Levin TAB & Sports Bar (2100m) and is likely to target the Group 3 Bramco Granite And Marble Manawatu Cup (2300m) at Awapuni on December 19. “I think he will be a light weight chance in the Manawatu Cup,” Sharrock said. “His main aim is the Wellington Cup (Group 3, 3200m) and he is on target. He is going well.”