Tuvalu cements his spot in the Winter Championship Final

Having already cemented his spot in the final of the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series, Tuvalu has scored a fighting win in another heat of the series at Flemington.

The Lindsey Smith-trained galloper finished second in a series heat at Flemington on May 21 before returning to the same track on Saturday to claim The David Bourke (1630m) in a stirring two-horse war.

Despite laying-in under Jarrod Todd, Tuvalu ($7) scored by a long-neck from the $2.60 favourite Visinari with Sir Davy ($5.50) a further 2-¾ lengths away third.

Tuvalu has now won six of his 10 starts, finishing second on the other four occasions, and Shane Jackson, deputising for Smith, said it was a relief to see the gelding back in winning form.

“We’ve always thought he’s a good horse, but we’ve probably been spruiking him a little bit and coming home disappointed,” Jackson said.

“He’s yet to run a bad race in fairness and we’ve probably taken the bubble wrap off him a little bit.”

Tuvalu won on a heavy track at Warrnambool during the Carnival before his last start narrow defeat when an odds-on favourite at the hands of Le Don De Vie.

“When you’re a small stable, these big powerhouse stables probably have 10 or 15 like him and just work him as normal,” Jackson said.

“Since his last start we’ve sort of gone back to basics and worked him the same, kept the work up to him, his fitness was better today, and he got the job done in a competitive race.”

Jackson said the Winter Championship Final was the obvious next race, but that would be a decision for Smith to make.

Stablemate Mystery Shot is likely to head to the final having qualified by running second to another stable companion Triple Mission over 1400m on May 14.

Jackson said Mystery Shot had run a good race on Saturday with his fourth-place finish.

“He goes on wet ground so if it happens to rain that’ll be right up his alley too,” Jackson said.

Runner-up Visinari also earned a start in final with his second placing on Saturday.

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