Nominated for two of this weekend’s feature races, trainer Joseph Pride is confident the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington poses the perfect launch pad for Tiger Tees ahead of a spring racing campaign geared towards Group 1 feature races.
A notable performer over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Tiger Tees won the Listed Falvelon (1200m) in Brisbane first-up, and while appearing to be well and truly out of his depth when ninth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (100m) on March 15th, responded in the best way possible when charging home to win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) just two weeks later.
While failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 10th, Pride is confident the Dubawi gelding’s class alone should be enough to see him home ahead of his competitors on Saturday.
“It’s really not the strongest race,” Pride told TVN.
“Apart from him it looks like a strong winter sprint field and if he runs up to his best you would think he should be beating them.
“I know it’s not going to be wet, which he likes, but it’s the right race for him.
“He won’t have a long spring so we need to make every run count. As long as it’s not hard.”
Securing an impressive total of eleven race wins and five minor places from just 27 competitive starts so far, Tiger Tees was unable to figure in just two starts through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; returning to the paddock after finishing eighth in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) and a disappointing 10th in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) in October.
Allocated the central barrier 8 for the 2014 Aurie’s Star Handicap, Tiger Tees’ chances of first-up success took a huge boost early this week when champion jockey Damien Oliver was confirmed to take the ride.
Having so-far received the greatest share of market support since betting fields first opened, Tigers Tees is currently figuring as outright $3.30 favourite and market mover for the Aurie’s Star Handicap, ahead of Zamorar ($4.80) with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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