Day At The Track

Harness racing champ Tiger Tara retired

05:49 PM 28 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Tiger Tara,Harness racing
Tiger Tara, claimed the titles of Australian Horse of the Year, Australian Aged Horse or Gelding of the Year and Australian Pacer of the Year.
Gloucester Park photo

One of the modern giants of harness racing, Tiger Tara, has run his last race.

Just 12 months after he thrashed a hot field to win the Melbourne Inter Dominion final, trainer Kevin Pizzuto has retired the nine-year-old after a below-par run at Bathurst on Boxing night.

“He’s just not the horse he was … I guess it happens at his age,” Pizzuto said.

“To be honest, he’s been with me three years (since being bought from NZ) and he’s always had his issues. We’ve been able to work through, but he’s had enough now.

“He’s always had such great heart, tried so hard, but he’s had a few chances to show if he could get back to that amazing form of last season and he hasn’t been able to.

“He’s still competitive, but that’s not enough. It’s time to pull the pin.”

Tiger Tara, a seven-time Group 1 winner, retires with a record of 112 starts for 37 wins, 40 placings and $2,375,065 in earnings.

His golden streak came last season where he netted nine wins – including the Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and Victoria Cup – plus another seven placings and earned $865,500. 

Inter Dominion

Hunter Cup

Victoria Cup

 

“He was a top young horse in NZ and we bought him with a view to making him into a stallion. He’s served some mares over the past couple of seasons in between racing, but now he can focus on that,” Pizzuto said.

Pizzuto cited the Inter Dominion win and Tiger Tara’s monstrous second to Thefixer in the 2018 NZ Cup as his greatest performances.

“Winning the Inter Dominion is everyone’s dream, it’s the ultimate and he was just in zone that night,” he said.

“We built his whole campaign around that night and smashed them in record time.

“As great as that run was, I reckon his second in that NZ Cup was right up there with it. He did all the work against all those top Purdon horses and was nosed-out by the one who had the cold sit and sprint lane.

“I’m not a person who has regrets, but that’s the one that got away. He deserved to win that race. He was the best run in it by a mile.”

THE TIGER TARA FILE

Breeding: Bettors Delight-Tara Gold

Born: 23/10/2010

Record: 112 starts; 37 wins; 26 seconds; 14 thirds

Prizemoney: $2,375,065

BIGGEST WINS:

2018 Gp1 Melbourne Inter Dominion

2019 Gp1 Hunter Cup

2018 Gp1 Victoria Cup

2018 Gp1 Canadian Club Sprint

2015 Gp1 NZ FFA

2014 Gp1 NZ Northern Derby

2013 Gp1 NZ 3YO Sires final

Reprinted with permission of The Herald

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