Thomas Stockdale returns to scale with Tavirun after winning the Jeffrey Armstrong Hcp at Sandown.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young stable are hopeful Tavirun does not have any bad memories of his last trip to The Valley.
Tavirun’s last outing at the track was almost 12 months ago and he came away from the race with a slab fracture to a knee.
The mishap was after three successive Caulfield victories that led Busuttin and Young to believe Tavirun was a spring contender.
“At the end of his last preparation when he ran third at The Valley he ended up hitting the rail and I think that’s when he did his injury,” Young said.
“The surgeon did a terrific job on him and touch wood he’s been pretty sound through the whole preparation, but we were mindful that it was going to take three or four starts for him to get up to his right trip and get race fit.”
Now Tavirun races with screws in his knee and Young said the stable was careful not to overtax the gelding.
After showing signs he was nearing his best with a second placing at Sandown in early July, Tavirun was successful at that track over 1800m last Wednesday.
“It mapped perfectly last time after we elected to bypass Flemington the Saturday before,” Young said.
“It worked out well as he got everything to suit and he pulled up really well.
“That was the first time going into that race that we had just maintained his knees and had not done any maintenance on them so I think he will get plenty of improvement from it.”
Racing on Saturday marks the return to pre-COVID-19 prize money levels with Saturday’s 2040m race carrying $135,000 and a $74,250 first cheque.
Young said the stable was also likely to run stablemate Salsamor.
Salsamor strung three wins on end before Busuttin and Young ran the gelding in the Easter Cup at Caulfield.
“It was a question mark whether he was a back-up horse and he showed he wasn’t,” Young said.
“We gave him a little freshen up after he ran fourth at Sandown and he was super at Caulfield, but the other day it was a bit of an off day and he didn’t have his usual spring about himself.”
Salsamor is coming off a last start seventh to Creedence at Flemington on July 18.