Budler masterclass helps Tavolo to impressive Canberra win

The Rob Potter-trained Tavolo, pictured here winning at Canberra on Friday for Damon Budler, has showcased a lot of promise. Image: Bradley Photos

Rob Potter’s team looks to have a good mare in the form of Tavolo. 

The lightly-raced four-year-old was only having her third start at Canberra on Friday, and with Damon Budler in the saddle, the $1.45 commodity was a very impressive winner in the 1280 Maiden Plate.

Jumping from gate three, Budler initially aimed to go forward, but with rivals charging for the lead from the outside, Tavolo settled a touch better than midfield on the rail. 

Turning for home, the pair still had five in front of them in a condensed field, but Budler backed his mare and took the gap on the home straight before she unleashed a big finish, putting away the field in fine fashion. 

“It’s a credit to her and all the work she’s done at home,” Budler said after the win. 

“She looked for the gaps and made the best of a bad situation, and she’s probably going to go on and win more races.”

Before her Canberra win, Tavolo had raced without luck for Coriah Keatings at Albury and Bathurst, finishing second and third, respectively.

Budler praised his fellow jockey for her work in getting the Canberra mare into the winner’s circle. 

“Coriah has ridden her previously, and she’s done a lot of work with the horse, and I think she was very green early on, and I think I just jumped on at the right time today,” Budler said. 

Potter was tickled pink with the result, and he came out and praised the stable jockey after the win. 

“That was an outstanding ride,” Potter said. 

“She was in all sorts, but Damo kept his cool, and he was on a good horse.

“They got a bit of a bump there, but she let down really good on this surface, and I think she’s a pretty exciting horse.

“Plus, for a bloke that had six weeks off and only four rides back, the coolness of the ride was amazing.”

By the late Zariz and out of Tabletop, Tavolo has some very interesting breeding.

Zariz, who stood at Kooringal Stud, passed away in 2018, but he produced some excellent types in Laser Sharp, Zaratone, Shiraz and Riziz.

Tabletop, raced by Potter, is by Keeper and out of Centaine mare Anza Belle.

The Canberra trainer bought Tabletop as a breeding proposition after she finished with a career record of 19 starts for three wins and 11 minor placings.

She was subsequently one of the last mares covered by Zariz.

“Tabletop was a wonderful old mare, and Gundaroo Stud owned her, so I bought her to breed with,” Potter said. 

“The first one (out of her) was legless, but this one goes all right.

“My wife and I bred her, and a lot of my friends and my daughter are in her, and it’s just a really good bunch of people.”

Like Tabletop, Tavolo is a handful, with both prone to tying up and being a little hot under the collar, but Potter and his team have taken their time with the rising five-year-old. 

“She’s a highly-strung little filly, so I’ve carted her about,” Potter said. 

“She was still a bit hot in the yard today (Friday), and we’ve had to take our time, which you can see because she’s nearly five, but I think she’s a nice horse.”

While initially considering a spell for the up-and-comer, Potter will most likely take Tavolo to Dubbo on July 10 for a 1300m Class One Handicap before she heads to the paddock.