Tagaloa set to replicate on-speed tactics

Tuesday 23 February 2021, 1:13pm

Trent Busuttin believes they may have stumbled on the style of galloper Tagaloa really is after his return to form in the C S Hayes Stakes.

On that occasion, Tagaloa used his speed from the outset and kept going to win his first race since last year's Blue Diamond Stakes.

Busuttin said the Group Three victory demonstrated to him that Tagaloa was a strong on-pace galloper.

And the stable plans to use the same tactics in the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.

"I think we learned more out of the win than what we knew going into it," Busuttin said.

"He went through his gears strongly. We've found out he is a tough, on-pace galloper who can take up a position on the speed and keep going."

In the C S Hayes Stakes, Tagaloa was part of a speed battle from the outset and carved out a slick 10.65 second, 200 metre sectional time between the 1200 metres and the 1000 metres.

He then had to endure Here To Shock taking him on for the lead, which he relinquished, before regaining the front and withstanding the challenge of Aysar to win.

Tagaloa's only previous start over 1600 metres was in the Caulfield Guineas, which proved to be a non-event as he was pulled out of the race after injuring his near-fore suspensory.

Busuttin expects him to handle a 200 metre distance rise on Saturday.

"To me, there's no reason why he can't run out 1600 metres," Busuttin said.

"When I was looking at him as a two-year-old, I couldn't wait to get him out to 1600 metres and further.

"He was strong to the line the other day and I think he will run out a powerful 1600 metres."

Busuttin said Tagaloa had derived benefit from his last-start run.

"I'd say he's improved. He worked up in great fashion at Cranbourne this (Tuesday) morning with Sierra Sue, who is a smart mare. It was extremely good track work."

Tagaloa is a $3.50 Australian Guineas favourite with TAB fixed odds.

He also has the best form reference as four of the past six winners of the Australian Guineas have taken out the C S Hayes Stakes - Alligator Blood last year, Grunt (2018), Hey Doc (2019) and Wandjina in 2015.

– AAP

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