Tiger Tees Off in Aurie’s Star Handicap 2014

Sydney’s Joe Pride has not accepted for Group 1 winning sprinter Tiger Tees in Saturday’s Missile Stakes instead running the seven-year-old first-up in the 2014 Aurie’s Star Handicap in Melbourne.

Tiger Tees (inside)

The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees (inside) resumes in Melbourne this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

Dubawi gelding Tiger Tees was dually nominated across two states for the weekend’s racing with entries in both the $175,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and Flemington’s $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) – betting markets for which will open at Ladbrokes.com.au this afternoon.

Despite being based in Sydney and having had two good trials at Randwick over the past couple of weeks, Pride chose not to accept Tiger Tees in the Missile Stakes up against the likes of Gai Waterhouse’s first-up specialist Sweet Idea, the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane and three from the stables of Chris Waller.

Instead they are likely to run interstate tackling a somewhat easier field of rivals, yet to be confirmed, in the Aurie’s Star where a softer track than that predicted for Randwick will be more to their liking.

“I’ll be accepting with him in the Aurie’s Star on Wednesday and then having a look from there,” Pride told AAP on Tuesday.

Winner of the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill back in late March, Tiger Tees had a very strong autumn campaign last time in.

Their Group 1 win was followed by a TJ Smith Stakes fourth to Lankan Rupee and third to Japanese raider Hana’s Goal in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick.

They then travelled to Brisbane for the BTC Cup but failed to beat home any other runners when leading early in the 1200m sprint before the pressure was put on and they faded over the final 2000m.

Pride has given them a nice break in the meantime, with two trials leading up to Saturday the most recent being a fourth when beaten under a length by Valentia over 840m last Friday.

Now they resume looking to add to their strong first-up record (8-4-2-0) at a track they’re yet to win at.

Their trainer meanwhile likes the chances of the resuming Laser Hawk in the Missile Stakes, a race Pride won in 2011 and 2013 with Rain Affair, despite the former Gai Waterhouse-trained galloper being drawn wide in gate eight of nine.

Kerrin McEvoy has the mount on the Artie Schiller six-year-old whose latest start was a second last (11th) behind Pierro back in April last year.

A tendon injury enforced a lengthy lay off but they’ve had over 12 months to recover and a stable change plus a trio of trials showing Pride they should come back well.

“He’s looked quite sharp in his trials. I’ve been very pleased with him,” Pride said.

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