Damien Oliver aboard Tofane (Image: Racing Photos)
Damien Oliver is set to reunite with Tofane as the Group 1 winner commences her spring campaign on home turf on Saturday.
The Michael Moroney-trained mare resumes in the $200,000 G2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington and Oliver will replace the injured Dwayne Dunn following last weekend's freak barrier accident at The Valley.
"Ollie (Damien Oliver) knows the mare, he actually rode her in her first three starts and won her maiden at Ballarat so we won't have any worries on that score," Moroney said.
"He's ridden Group 1 winners for us and we've always had a good relationship.
"Obviously it's disappointing for Dwayne with what happened on Saturday and we all wish him a speedy recovery, but it was a fairly easy choice to make."
Tofane's lone G1 victory came in April's All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick with Opie Bosson in the saddle due to Victorian jockeys being ineligible to travel to Sydney during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The five-year-old is likely to be restricted over 1200 metres this spring, with gaining a slot in the $15m Everest (1200m) at the forefront of Moroney's mind.
"We've made no secret of our desire to run her in the race and the way things are shaping up I'd say she deserves a place," Moroney said.
"She's already a Group 1 winner at Randwick, she ran well there in the T.J. Smith against the likes of Nature Strip, Santa Ana Lane and Redzel and she beat Gytrash home in Adelaide last year (when runner-up in the 2019 Euclase Stakes), so her credentials certainly stack up."
However, if Everest slot-holders overlook the daughter of Ocean Park then it would be unlikely she would travel away from home, with suitable 1200-metre sprints at Flemington such as the G2 Gilgai Stakes on October 3 and G1 VRC Sprint Classic on November 7.
Tofane has prepared for Saturday's Bobbie Lewis Quality by contesting three jumpouts over 800m at Flemington, most recently when she was runner-up behind the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained Phoenix Global and just ahead of last year's Bobbie Lewis winner Zoutori last Friday.