Classy colt Tagaloa would move into cracking company if he can roll the older horses in Saturday’s Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Tagaloa would become the fifth three-year-old to win in the last 25 editions of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes if successful.
The honour of three-year-old winners of the race in that period is outstanding.
The brilliant Kiwi colt Our Maizcay won in 1995 before going on to win the Caulfield Guineas at his next start, while Encosta De Lago repeated that feat in 1996.
Testa Rossa claimed the 1999 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes with Redoute’s Choice in third spot. Redoute’s Choice reversed the result in an epic Caulfield Guineas three weeks later.
Exceed And Excel produced an amazing display of sustained speed to win in 2003 with his time of 1:21.2 still standing as the Caulfield 1400m course record.
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Encosta De Lago, Redoute’s Choice and Exceed And Excel went on to become three of the world’s best stallions after their racing days.
Tagaloa will stand at Yulong Stud in Victoria when his racing days end.
The Caulfield Guineas is also Tagaloa’s target.
Co-trainer Trent Busuttin said the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes would be the perfect Guineas lead-up for the colt after his first-up third in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes.
“While he doesn’t do badly, Tagaloa does feel his races for about 48 hours after each race,” Busuttin, who trains Tagaloa in partnership with Natalie Young, said.
“He tries hard and it takes him a couple of days to bounce through and I thought the timing worked out perfectly.
“Three weeks from his last run and then three weeks into the (Caulfield) Guineas works well for him.”
Busuttin said Tagaloa’s tough effort when third in the McNeil showed he deserved his place in the race.
He added Glenfiddich’s effort against the older horses in the Memsie Stakes convinced him Tagaloa would measure up in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
“It got me thinking a bit when Peter Moody ran his three-year-old (Glenfiddich) in the Memsie and he ran a good race,” Busuttin said.
“Three-year-olds have got a good record in the race but they are the top three-year-olds.
“But he has won a Blue Diamond and he’s not out of place having a crack at a race like that.
“But he’s very well and has a lot of things in his favour because he’s going to be in on the minimum. He’s going to be getting weight off them all.”
Regular rider Michael Walker will ride Tagaloa in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Busuttin said the jockey would have no problem riding the son of Lord Kanaloa at 54kg.