Off the back of a last-start win at The Valley, lightly raced Tofane is set for a return to stakes racing in the Gr.3 How Now Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Tofane, a New Zealand-bred daughter of Ocean Park, has been installed second favourite for Saturday’s race for mares at $7.50, with in-form Pippie the clear-cut favourite at $2.30.
Tofane was runner-up in the Gr.2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide for three-year-olds last season at her fourth career start and Moroney has held ambitions to run her in some of the Group races for mares this spring.
She earned her chance to return to stakes grade after winning second-up at The Valley on September 7, beating the promising Chris Waller-trained Haut Brion Her in a benchmark race over 1200m.
“It was a nice win,” Moroney said.
“She still looked a bit wintry that day – and she still is a little bit – so I think she is still going to keep improving.
“The other filly (Haut Brion Her) looked as if she didn’t handle the Melbourne way of going but our filly got around The Valley even better than I thought she would, actually.”
Moroney is looking to stretch Tofane out to 1400m, where he believes she will be better suited, after Saturday before hopefully getting to the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes over 1600m later in spring if she can keep stepping up.
“Pippie is going to be pretty hard to beat on Saturday and it’s definitely a class rise for her, but I think if you took a line through her run at Morphettville (in the Euclase), it was a pretty strong race there too,” Moroney said.