Tavago has produced a pleasing barrier trial at Cranbourne but his co-trainer Trent Busuttin is still undecided whether he will kick off his campaign in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
The 2016 Australian Derby winner has not raced since he pulled up lame after finishing last in the Group One BMW in the autumn but Busuttin is pleased with the way the five-year-old is coming up this campaign.
Tavago had a nice trial at Cranbourne on Monday, finishing 2-1/2 lengths second in a four-horse heat won by Lovani on heavy ground.
Tavago is among 13 initial nominations for Saturday’s Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley and Busuttin, who trains in partnership with Natalie Young, said they would make a decision before acceptances on Wednesday whether he runs or waits another week for the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington.
“He trialled up nicely, on the bridle,” Busuttin said.
“The first horse and Tavago trialled up well within themselves. We were there to see whether he was nice and keen, which he was.
“He looked good in his action and he certainly didn’t mind the wet conditions.
“He had a good blow afterwards and we’ve just got to decide whether he runs in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes on Saturday or we wait a week and go for the mile at Flemington.
“He’s still got to shake off his (winter) coat, it’s still a bit woolly, but certainly I was happy with his trial and his action and he’s pulled up well.”
Busuttin said preferably he would like to kick him off on the StrathAyr surface at Moonee Valley, “to give him a bit of cushion”.
“But time-wise the Flemington race certainly fits in better for us,” he said.
Nominations for the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes have been extended until Tuesday morning.
The winner earns a ballot exemption into the Cox Plate.
New Zealand trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have Group One winners Bonneval and Lizzie L’Amour entered to make their first appearances of spring.
Other Group One winners nominated are Abbey Marie, Gallante and He’s Our Rokkii who has been installed the early $4.60 favourite.