Tivaci has finally claimed a Group 1 win, taking out the All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Michael Moroney-trained runner came from well back in the field to narrowly beat Le Romain over the concluding stages with Jungle Edge doing well to hang on for third.
Tivaci had always threatened to win a Group 1 and finally got his chance on Saturday in what looked a very winnable race, and despite many winners on the day coming from up on the speed, Tivaci was one of the few that was able to make ground.
Running to a new career peak Timeform figure of 120, the four-year-old entire ran four pounds above his fourth placing in the TJ Smith Stakes the start prior behind Chautauqua.
Tivaci ran to the same figure as 2016 winner English (before the fillies and mares allowance) which makes him the lowest rated winner of the race since Bentley Biscuit in 2007 (119).
Damien Oliver has now ridden three All Aged Stakes winners, his first coming in 1995 aboard Hurricane Sky before partnering Danleigh to win in 2009.
Tivaci is the second winner in as many years to come through the TJ Smith Stakes and the sixth in the last 25 years joining English (2016), Hay List (2011), Hot Danish (2010), Bentley Biscuit (2007) and Shamekha (2005).
The Racing and Sports field strength value (RSFS) Of 120 is below par for a Group 1 race and below the 121.9 of last years renewal which saw English beat Black Heart Bart.
Of the beaten runners, Le Romain returned to form and ran to 119, his highest since winning the Group 1 BMW Stakes four starts back with Jungle Edge in third running up to his Star Kingdom win of 115.
Tivaci and Damien Oliver (outside) winning the 2017 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), picture Sportpix.com.au
Earlier in the programme The Mission led all the way to outstay his rivals when winning the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) for Paul Perry.
Taken to the lead by Damian Lane, The Mission kept finding in the straight, holding off Invader by just over two lengths with Whispered Secret not far away in third.
The Mission ran to a clear new peak Timeform figure of 117, six pounds higher than his first up win in the Group 3 Schweppervescence (1400m) and certainly looks a staying prospect going into his three-year-old season.
The Mission ran one pound higher than 2016 winner Prized Icon which puts him at the lower end of recent colts and geldings to win the race in the last 25 years, a majority returning figures of over 120.
Coming through the main lead up race, the Group 1 Sires’, The Mission had no luck on that occasion but was still able to find the line well, giving Damian Lane the confidence to take him forward in the Champagne.
Paul Perry has indicated the Group 1 Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas as potential targets during the spring.
Whilst he would need to show significant improvement off the 116 to be competitive in those races he is certainly open to further improvement and is one to watch going forward.
Invader was good again in second, unable to reel in The Mission and ran to 112, seven pounds below his win in the Sires’ with Whispered Secret in third running to a new career peak of 107, five pounds above his Fernhill win.
Former NZ runner Mongolian Wolf has kicked off his career for the Darren Weir stable in good order winning the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
Last seen when well back in the field behind Gingernuts in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) for Murray Baker, Mongolian Wolf is another to frank the NZ Derby form with both Gingernuts and placegetter Jon Snow Horseform coming over and winning big races.
Mongolian Wolf ran to a clear new career peak figure of 113, five pounds above his Avondale Guineas third placing three runs back and looks set to target the Queensland Derby during the winter.
Mongolian Wolf measures up well against recent winners of the race, running one pound higher than 2016 winner He’s Our Rokki and one pound below Hi World who won in 2015.
It certainly appears as through the staying ranks among the leading three-year-olds in New Zealand is superior to their Australian counterparts and will be interesting to see how they progress into the spring as four-year-olds.