Trainer Dan O’Sullivan has next month’s $100,000 Australian Hurdle in his sights for the in-form Tuscan Fire who romped home on the flat at Sandown.
The five-year-old made it six wins from 10 starts this preparation in Wednesday’s Taralye Plate (2400m).
Linda Meech has been aboard the gelding in his four flat wins at Kyneton (1850m),Colac (2000m) and twice over the 2400m on the Sandown Hillside circuit.
Meech had Tuscan Fire ($4.20 fav) in the first four throughout and he streaked away in the straight for a five-length win over Leonardo Express ($8) with Debecca ($16) a short-head away third.
Tuscan Fire was coming off four successive hurdle starts, having won two of them with Brad McLean in the saddle.
He also finished third at his jumps debut at Oakbank on April 7 and was fourth to Black And Bent in the Galleywood Hurdle (3200m) at Warrnambool earlier this month.
Tuscan Fire has now won seven of his 34 starts for more than $150,000 prizemoney and O’Sullivan attributed his improvement to jumping.
“He’s been jumping for a long time,” O’Sullivan said.
“Last time in we thought he could win first-up over 1400 metres (he finished second at Ballarat) and I think we had him racing too keenly.
“This time in when we were definitely going jumping with him we concentrated on settling him and we’ve done more staying work with him which has made him more seasoned.
“He’s just in a great place at the moment and Linda has been riding him really well.”
The Australian Hurdle (3400m) is at Sandown on June 2.