Untapped filly Taormina can continue what has been a best-ever season for the Tulloch Lodge two-year-olds when she tests the waters in Saturday grade at Rosehill.
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have produced 34 juvenile winners during the 2022-23 racing term, seven of them at black-type level.
The effort comfortably surpasses their previous best of 23 during 2018-19 and is more than double the 16 they trained when Farnan captured the 2020 Golden Slipper.
Taormina gets a chance to put the icing on the cake when she lines up in the Racing For Good On July 29 Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday after making an encouraging debut when leading throughout to score on a soft track at Warwick Farm last month.
Bott expected her to appreciate the firmer conditions at Rosehill and be better again for the experience.
“It was testing conditions on the day, she handled them pretty well, although I think she will be better on top of the ground,” Bott said.
“But she travelled great, showed a nice turn of foot and was pretty tough on debut.
“I think she’s open to a natural bit of improvement and it looks a nice stepping-stone for her.”
Taormina showed enough precociousness to figure in the first official two-year-old trials of the season and the stable earmarked her as an “above average” filly from the outset.
The rise to Saturday company is another challenge again, particularly with the presence of a trio of horses with autumn carnival form, including Baillieu Handicap placegetter Inhibitions.
Bott views it as a good litmus test and a chance for Taormina to earn herself a shot at some of the early-season three-year-old races during the carnival.
“Saturday’s race will give us a good indication how she can measure up going forward, whether there are any potential spring targets for her,” he said.
“She is quite fit now a couple of runs into the preparation so if she is able to measure up on Saturday, you could make a case to keep her ticking over into the early part of the spring and using that recent racing to your advantage.”
Tim Clark partners Taormina, who is an easing favourite having drifted to $2.90 on Thursday after opening at $2.60.
– RAS NewsWire