Sir Tiger’s a real racehorse and he’s ready to roar on Friday
Sir Tiger showed he was in terrific order for the third Young Guns heat at Auckland on Friday night when he led all the way to win in fast time at today’s Pukekohe trials.
Sir Tiger began quickly from two on the gate for pinch-hitting driver Rhys Fensom and travelled strongly throughout the 1609 metre heat, holding stablemate Line Up by a neck at the post in a very slick 2:00.3, with a further length to Double Or Nothing.
Sir Tiger reeled off impressive closing sectionals of 58.2 and 27.6, prompting Fensom to label him a lovely pacer.
“He only did what he had to and was waiting for them a bit in the run home.’’
Trainer Ray Green, who marked Sir Tiger 10 out of 10 for his last race, when he sat parked all the way and still ran second, called the colt a real racehorse and the ultimate tradesman.
Line Up, sold for big money a week ago to Australian owner Emilio Rosati, closed stylishly late for driver Andrew Drake after sitting fourth in the running. And Double Or Nothing, who trailed throughout, also worked to the line strongly, Andre Poutama telling Green he never moved on the gelding.
Lincoln Farms’ fourth runner Copy That was jogging at the 500 metre mark when he threw in his now predictable gallop, frustrating both driver Zachary Butcher and Green.
“Maybe I just don’t get on with him,’’ said Butcher. “But he seems to have it in his head that’s the place where he gallops - he’d never do it on the top corner and he’s fine in training.’’
Green plans to take the colt’s hopples up a hole after noting they looked too loose.
If Green is happy with how he trains this week Copy That will complete a five-strong challenge on the two-year-old race on Friday.
Perfect Stride, who won the last Young Guns heat, was given a cruisy run in the opening 2050 metre workout of the day.
Last on the inner in the eight-horse heat, Perfect Stride was never pulled out and went to the line untried on the back of stablemate Phil Bromac.
Phil Bromac, a likely candidate for Cambridge on Thursday, raced three deep in the running and only battled for seventh.
The heat was won by Barry Purdon’s Sportswriter filly Ghostwriter in 2:38.3, a mile rate of 2:04.2.
Hilary Barry showed she was continuing to improve when she led from go to whoa in the two-year-old fillies’ heat over 1609 metres.
Hilary Barry showed good early speed to cross over from the outside of the gate and Butcher had her running along sweetly to clock 2:02.6, her final 800 in 60.7 and 400 in 29.2.
Green says with no race programmed for the fillies this week Hilary Barry will have to wait until February 15 for her next test when he expects another good effort.
“It was an especially good run on debut. She was never going to win from her draw but would have run third had she not flattened out the last bit.’’
Hilary Barry was credited with a one length win today over Mike Berger’s well bred Emmber, with Sweeter Than Sweet third for trainers Bunty and Gareth Hughes.
Zealand Star ran a black booker in the 2050 metre workout for rating 66 and faster pacers, closing to a neck second behind the accomplished rating 96 pacer Let’s Elope.
Starting from the outside of the six-horse field, Zealand Star trailed third behind Let’s Elope and My Generation, quickening nicely over impressive closing sectionals of 56.2 and 26.1, times seldom bettered at Pukekohe.
“He was really good,’’ said Butcher. “He was gaining a little at the finish.’’
Zealand Star had two lengths up his sleeve at the finish over third-placed stablemate Recco Lover with a further three-quarters of a length to My Generation.
Green will check out the nominations on Monday before deciding whether to race Zealand Star at Cambridge on Thursday or Auckland on Friday.
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Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Bettor My Dreamz
“I think he’s a chance from the draw. He’s had only a handful of starts but I don’t think they’re much better than him, a bit more experienced perhaps. But he’s an improver and David said he felt improved at the workouts last Saturday.”
Race 2: Just Wing It
“Andre’s keen on him - he could have driven the other horse - so we’ll see what sort of a judge he is. I’ve been very happy with him in the last few weeks - he’s pacing a lot better.”
Race 5: Sir Tiger
“He’s done a great job so far but he’s jumping up in class and he’ll be up against it from now on, especially from that second row draw. He just lacks a yard of speed.”
Race 7: The Empress
“She’ll go well again and just needs some luck from the inside second row. There’s not a lot between her and Bettor My Dreamz. She’s a lovely mare.”
Saturday night at Melton
Race 8: Perfect Stride
11pm NZ time
“I’m confident he’ll go well. I couldn’t say I’m overly confident he’ll beat them but all things being fair and equal I think he’ll be right there. He’s certainly ready to go. His work this morning was super and he’s really feeling good.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 6: Northview Hustler
9.40pm NZ time
“It’s only an eight horse field and he should get a great trip behind the leader. It was only (lack of) fitness that got him last week but he should be winning this week.”