A year ago, Tagaloa won the Group 1 Blue Diamond. Today he returned to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since that Blue Diamond triumph when he proved too strong for his opposition in the Group 3, CS Hayes Stakes.
The Trent Busuttin / Natalie Young trained three-year old was never far off them when having to settled for the minor placings in-between those wins, racking up a series of highly creditable results in the interim … a second in the Todman, a fourth place in the Golden Slipper, and a third placing in both the McNeil and the Manfred … but that winning touch had been just out of reach until now.
And he had to earn the win as Aysar, who looked likely to have his measure coming through the 200m mark and who continued to fight on to the line, provided a stern challenge, but this was going to be Tagaloa’s day and he duly prevailed to claim his third career win.
He is now on his way to the Australian Guineas.
“Tag’s is back … what a relief. It is absolutely fantastic,” said Natalie Young.
“He dominated that today. Luke (Currie) gave him a picture ride and it worked out perfectly.
“In a couple of week’s time, he is going to meet half this field again with 2kg off at set weights. It’s just nice going forward that he is keeping his value (Tagaloa is a colt) and that he has got a Group 3 win as a three-year-old.”
“We know he has got a motor,” offered jockey Luke Currie. “He probably hasn’t shown that for a little bit, but he definitely did today.
“I think Flemington helps him with that … where he can travel around the corner rather than be off the bridle. He was good today where he drew wide and could pop off outside the leader and have that bunny to follow.
“He took over at the top of the straight and was strong through the line … so, you’d like to think, he has given every indication that the mile won’t be a problem for him (in the Australian Guineas).”