The impressive winter form of three-year-old Tavirun has continued at Caulfield, with the gelding taking a distance rise in his stride to claim his third-straight win at the track.
After victories over 2000m at his previous two starts, Tavirun stepped up to 2400m for the first time in Saturday's Mypunter.com Handicap and had a jockey change with apprentice Teo Nugent taking over from Nikita Beriman so that he could claim 3kg from the 59.5kg impost.
Tavirun ($3.50) enjoyed a nice trail behind the leaders before Nugent got going on the gelding to take over the lead approaching the home turn.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Tavirun skipped clear and kept rallying to have a 1-1/4-length margin over runner-up Not A Single Cent ($7.50) on the line, with Wealthy Wolf ($9) another two lengths away third.
"It's pretty exciting," Young said.
"Teodore rode him a treat.
"It worked out perfectly with the two leaders in front and he sat behind them. He got going at the right time in the right part of the track.
"He's a nice horse going forward."
Young said Tavirun would likely now have a short freshen-up before looking to some spring targets, with the Naturalism Stakes and Cranbourne Cup among the options.
"Those sorts of races are going to be right up his alley and now having won at 2400 metres, the options open up even wider," Young said.
Longer term, next year's Singapore Derby for four-year-olds is on the radar as Tavirun is part-owned by Singapore-based trainer Shane Baertschiger.
Tavirun's three-straight wins late in this season have taken his overall record to five wins from 15 starts.
Young said Tavirun was holding his condition better than his previous campaign and said they had also varied his training, which was working.
"We always thought earlier on he would be a Derby type and it didn't pan out," Young said.
"But going forward there's plenty of options." -AAP