Trainer Mike Moroney is convinced Tivaci should have finished closer in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and is hoping the four-year-old can break through for a Group One win in the Toorak Handicap.
Tivaci finished equal sixth in the Sir Rupert Clarke over 1400m at Caulfield last Saturday week but Moroney felt he wasn’t able to flow into the race at a crucial stage approaching the home turn.
Last season’s Sunshine Coast Guineas and C S Hayes Stakes winner steps up to 1600m in Saturday’s Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, a distance Moroney believes will suit.
“He seems to have trained on well,” Moroney said.
“He just got held up at the wrong time last start.
“I know from the top of the straight he looked like he had clear running but before that he got held up and went from being in the A1 position to being three behind them before they turned the corner.
“I thought he probably should have finished in the first four somewhere.”
The stewards report noted Tivaci over-raced in the middle stages, and Moroney said the horse was following Mr Individual who started to weaken in front of him before the home turn.
“We’re approaching this race knowing he’s better at a mile than 1400 metres,” he he said.
“We needed things to flow his way over 1400 and we were hoping Charmed Harmony had stayed in the race to string the field out a bit but he came out and it changed the whole race.”
Tivaci, who has barrier four, is at $10 for the Toorak with He’s Our Rokki the market leader at $3.80.
Moroney said the Sir Rupert Clarke, the Toorak and the Longines Mile (formerly Emirates Stakes) were the races he picked as Tivaci’s spring targets.