He was bred by the greatest trainer of stayers this country has ever seen. He is trained by a renowned mentor of staying horses. And he’s by a stallion whose best progeny have been stayers.
So what is Tivaci doing winning down the straight six at Flemington?
Saturday’s Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington appeared to be a race in two with favourite, Hellbent, expected to edge out stablemate and Winx’s little brother, El Divino, but Tivaci clearly hadn’t read the script, edging both out in a thriller.
“Tivaci has been a bit unlucky in the big races,” owner Rupert Legh points out. “His previous run was in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) but it appears he’s much better suited as a sprinter/miler.
“His sectionals on Saturday were very, very quick. He flew home over the last 600m in 32.12 seconds.
“There are a number of options available for the horse. Based on his times in the Kensington, he could be a good chance in the (Group One) CF Orr Stakes over 1400m in a couple of weeks (11 February).”
Bred by Bart Cummings and racing out of Michael Moroney’s Ballymore Stables, Tivaci is a son of the deceased Coolmore Australia stallion, High Chaparral, whose 88 stakes winners include So You Think, Dundeel, Shoot Out and Monaco Consul.
Hailing from the Fastnet Rock mare, Breccia, Tivaci is closely related to 2009 Group One Toorak Handicap winner, Allez Wonder.
Tivaci has now won five of his 18 starts and nearly half a million in stakes and among his three stakes victories and four stakes placings is a third in last spring’s Toorak and a close up third behind Le Romain in the Group One Cantala Stakes.
Legh, who also pays the feed bills for the world’s No. 1 sprinter in Chautauqua, had several runners at Flemington on Saturday including Street Fighter in the Inglis Dash and Little Indian, who lined up against Tivaci in the Kensington.
“I played golf on Friday with Michael Christian who owns Fuhryk, favourite for the Inglis Dash,” Legh reveals. “Michael came up to me at golf and said we’re ‘combatants’ tomorrow but neither of us realised he was being literal as Fuhryk pretty much knocked Street Fighter out of the race. He was quick to come up and apologise after the race, but when Little Indian played up so badly in the mounting yard before the Kensington, I didn’t think it was going to be my day.
“Fortunately, Tivaci turned it all around.”