Although Tagaloa won the Blue Diamond Stakes,Trent Busuttin has always maintained he would be a better horse over more ground and the trainer gets to test that theory for the first time in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
It will be Tagaloa’s eighth start but his first in a race longer than 1200m when he lines up in the Group One contest over 1400m at Caulfield on Saturday.
“I’ve always said he’s a horse who’ll be better suited as he gets out in trip. Hopefully he doesn’t make a mug of me on Saturday,” Busuttin said.
Busuttin is approaching the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes with confidence in the three-year-old colt.
He is hoping Tagaloa, who will be partnered by his regular rider Michael Walker, can get a good position just off the speed from barrier 12.
“There’s going to be a fast pace which will suit him. He should be able to get a good spot and be hard to beat,” he said.
Busuttin was satisfied with Tagaloa’s first-up third in the McNeil Stakes behind Immortal Love at Caulfield.
“On that occasion we planned for him to be in around fifth place just behind the speed,” Busuttin said.
“That didn’t work out and he had to share the lead throughout. He was out of his comfort zone in the run in that spot.
“I think he can win. The step up to 1400 metres and having no weight on his back with 54 kilos will be a big help.
“He’s got a great weight and if he can settle fifth or sixth he’ll be hard to beat.”
Busuttin said their plan for Tagaloa was to run him in the Caulfield Guineas after Saturday.
“Then if he can win the Caulfield Guineas or run well in it he’d then go into the Cox Plate,” Busuttin said.
A full field of 16 will contest the Sir Rupert Clark Stakes including last year’s winner Begood Toya Mother and Memsie Stakes winner Behemoth, who has opened an early favourite.