Group One winner Tofane will try and nab the lion’s share of the A$5 million purse of the All-Star Mile (1600m) when she lines-up in the rich feature at Flemington on Saturday.
The Ocean Park mare has drawn gate seven and trainer Mike Moroney is hoping she can get a soft trip from the draw.
“It would have been nice to have drawn in a little bit closer,” Moroney told SENTrack.
“Looking at the makeup of the field, there are a couple inside her that go forward and three outside her that go forward.
“She will probably go with the flow early and then hopefully take a sit behind them. Hopefully we get that nice run.
“To get the mile on a nice, spacious track like that, I think she does need a little bit of cover.
“In the Toorak she got lovely cover. She got held up, but she certainly went a very good race over a mile with cover,
“She hasn’t won at a mile, so we have got to try and tick that box.”
Tofane was bred by Curraghmore Principal Gordon Cunningham, who elected to retain the filly and send her to Moroney’s Matamata barn under the care of co-trainer Pam Gerard.
She won an 820m trial at Te Teko before Ballymore Stable clients purchased her from Cunningham and she was transferred to Moroney’s Melbourne barn.
Meanwhile, Moroney has thrust exciting recruit Bankers Choice in the Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday as he attempts to claim a place in the Gr.1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Bankers Choice ran the fastest final 600m sectionals of the day when fifth in the Gr.2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) just days after arriving from New Zealand, and steps back in trip on Saturday.
“He is certainly a nice tough horse. It is not ideal having to travel again, but his race that we are chasing is the Doncaster and rather than taking the risk of attrition, because he is a long-way down in the order of entry, we are going up there for a reason to try and get in through the Ryder,” Moroney said.
“It will be a bit of a rain-affected track, I would think. It is going to be a bit more of a marathon test than it is normally.
“It should still be up his alley. He has got form over 1400m and a mile in New Zealand.
“Coventina Bay, who he beat (in the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap, 1600m), has gone on to win two Group Ones since.
“I thought his Australian debut was very strong and he looks as though he is going to frank that New Zealand form.”
Bankers Choice was trained in New Zealand by Stephen Marsh, for whom he won five of his 10 starts and placed in two others.
The 94-rater tackles weight for age on Saturday, with jockey Jay Ford, a noted lightweight booked for the ride, with a view to riding Bankers Choice should he make the Doncaster field. – NZ Racing Desk