Day At The Track

Tiger to tame rivals and take title

11:06 AM 17 Jul 2019 NZST
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Tiger Tara,Harness racing
Tiger Tara with trainer Kevin Pizzuto
Ashlea Brennan photo

With the Grand Circuit title safely in his keeping, Sydney trainer Kevin Pizzuto wants to put an exclamation point against the 2018/19 harness racing season.

Millionaire pacer Tiger Tara has dominated the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season with victories coming via the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Final, Hunter and Victoria Cups plus an agonisingly close second in the New Zealand Cup.

The Bettors Delight entire has been ruthless, methodical and downright scary good.

And now, he’s chasing the final leg of the eight race series with the Gr.1 $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park this Saturday night.

Following a freshen-up after being unplaced in the Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park, Menangle back on March 2, Tiger Tara scored a clinical victory last weekend under the orders of regular reinsman Todd McCarthy.

In his only start at Albion Park back in 2017; Tiger Tara was the beaten favourite when third behind Hectorjayjay and My Field Marshal in the Blacks A Fake, the biggest event staged in the Sunshine State, run over the staying distance of 2680m.

Last year, the Tim Butt trained and Dexter Dunn driven Let It Ride scored a decisive victory but will not return to defend his title.

Tiger Tara has amassed 370 points to date while his nearest rivals include Thefixer (164) while Our Uncle Sam and Spankem (both 120) sit nearby on the leaderboard.

Only Our Uncle Sam will contest the Brisbane event this weekend while the All Stars duo of Thefixer and Spankem have bypassed the feature.

The recently retired Lazarus claimed back to back Grand Circuit Champion titles during the past two seasons while Tiger Tara will become the first Australian trained Grand Circuit champion since Lennytheshark shared spoils with Smolda during the 2016 term.

Tiger Tara will start from a second-line draw after landing gate 12 but will start the punters elect given his domination of feature staying events this season.

The Bathurst trained Our Uncle Sam has seen plenty of Tiger Tara this term with placings in both the Inter Dominion Grand Final and the Hunter Cup but seeks his own moment of glory and gains a perfect opportunity after landing gate two.

Prepared by father/son partnership of Chris and Anthony Frisby, Our Uncle Sam will command plenty of respect.

Local hero Colt Thirty One, fresh from his shock loss last weekend in the Sunshine Sprint will require some luck after copping a second-line draw.

The multiple feature race winner led out in a brutal opening quarter burn before being outsprinted by his stablemate Ohoka Punter over the concluding stages, the Mach Three four-year-old will start from gate 11 this weekend.

Colt Thirty One, prepared by the country’s leading trainer Grant Dixon, is one of his four runners lining up in his home state feature alongside Ohoka Punter (gate 7), Eleniark (gate 1) and Alleluia (gate 10).

Interestingly, Ohoka Punter is chasing his second victory in the Blacks A Fake following his triumph back in 2016 when under the care of outstanding young horseman Nathan Purdon.

Sydney trainer Craig Cross is duly represented with former New Zealand pacers Cash N Flow (gate 3) and Alta Orlando (gate 13) both backing-up following their unplaced efforts last week in the Sunshine Sprint.

The Blake Fitzpatrick prepared Letspendanitetogetha (gate 9) is also backing-up this weekend from the Sunshine Sprint and draws directly behind Our Uncle Sam.

A recent winner of the Golden Mile at Menangle, the New Zealand owned gelding rates as a knockout chance.

Another former New Zealand pacer chasing his biggest prize to date is the Chantal Turpin trained Watch Pulp Fiction (gate 4) after finishing third behind Ohoka Punter and Colt Thirty One last weekend in the Sunshine Sprint.

Turpin is the only female trainer represented in the Blacks A Fake this year.

And while Luke and Todd McCarthy are pitted against each other, another pair of brothers also go head to head with Brendan and Hayden Barnes vying for the major prize.

Brendan takes the drive on the Jack Butler trained Rock With Sam (gate 6) while Hayden drives Northview Hustler (gate 8) for his father Alistair.

The emergency for the event is Holy Camp Clive (gate 5).

In total, the field has won 281 races while amassing more than $6,723,477 in stakes.

The track record was set last year by Let It Ride at 1:54.8.

The Gr.1$250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship is race 8 on the program and scheduled to start at 9.00pm local time.

8 9:00pm 2019 TAB BLACKS A FAKE QUEENSLAND CHAMPIONSHIP (G1) 2680M
$250,660 No NR. RBD. Mobile  FIRST 4
 
  Form Horse Trainer Other Eng. Driver   Class  Hcp  
1 15813 ELENIARK  Grant Dixon   Mark Purdon   NR108 B1  FR1  
2 1s72r OUR UNCLE SAM  Chris Frisby   Anthony Frisby   NR100 B3  FR2  
3 11200 CASH N FLOW NZ  Craig Cross   Luke McCarthy   NR120 B1  FR3  
4 09703 WATCH PULP FICTION NZ  Chantal Turpin   Pete McMullen   NR93 B1  FR4  
5 32119 HOLY CAMP CLIVE (Em 1)  Chris Frisby   Dean Cernovskis   NR98 B3  FR-  
6 61338 ROCK WITH SAM  Jack Butler   Brendan Barnes   NR100 B2  FR5  
7 32271 OHOKA PUNTER NZ  Grant Dixon   Paul Diebert   NR120 B1  FR6  
 ------------------------------ Second Row ------------------------------ 
8 04554 NORTHVIEW HUSTLER NZ  Alistair Barnes   Hayden Barnes   NR108 B2  SR1  
9 26167 LETSPENDANITETOGETHA NZ  Blake Fitzpatrick   Blake Fitzpatrick   NR105 B2  SR2  
10 77940 ALLELUIA NZ  Grant Dixon   Adam Sanderson   NR97 B1  SR3  
11 11112 COLT THIRTY ONE  Grant Dixon   Grant Dixon   NR120 B1  SR4  
12 125s1 TIGER TARA NZ  Kevin Pizzuto   Todd McCarthy   NR120 B1  SR5  
13 24226 ALTA ORLANDO NZ  Craig Cross   Luke McCarthy   NR98 B4  SR6
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