Day At The Track

Tiger to truck-on

09:14 AM 18 Apr 2017 NZST
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Kevin Pizzuto.jpg
Kevin Pizzuto

Former Kiwi star Tiger Tara continues to amaze new trainer Kevin Pizzuto.

As if blowing away a strong field and smashing the track record in last Thursday night’s Group 2 Penrith Cup wasn’t enough, Pizzuto said the two days which followed the race left him even more in awe.

“That was his third run in a week, he did all the work, won easily and smashed the record … but he ate-up and was so bright in the two days after, he made me change my mind,” Pizzuto said.

“The plan was always to give him a break after the other night, but he had four days out and I’ve brought him back in.”

Tiger Tara will tackle the free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night.

“He’s such an amazing horse, easily the best I’ve had, and I’m not afraid of taking anything on the way he’s got his past few starts,” Pizzuto said.

“You can say he didn’t race the best the other night, but nothing would’ve beaten him. He smashed the record and, you ask Toddy (McCarthy, driver), he’ll tell you there was still plenty left in the tank.”

Pizzuto said the plan was now to race this week, go to the $50,000 Bulli Cup two weeks after that, then have a freshen-up before chasing the Group 1 Len Smith Mile and a Queensland winter campaign.

But the big picture is the Perth Inter Dominion at the end of the year.

“That’s why I gave him those three runs close together, including the Renshaw Cup, to see how he’d handle it.He loved it. He got better each time. He’s going to love the Inter Dominion (format),” Pizzuto said.

“And he’s handled Penrith so well, Gloucester Park won’t be an issue.”

Interestingly, Mark Purdon’s best measure of Smolda’s ability to handle Gloucester Park came when he took him to the Renshaw Cup at Penrith in 2015.

And Tiger Tara’s almost unthinkable 1min55.2sec mile rate around the tight and slow Penrith track for 2525m took a staggering 1.5sec off the track record which Smolda set.

For Pizzuto, the excitement around Tiger Tiger runs even deeper because the pacer is a family affair.

“I own him with my daughter, Courtney,” he said. “Another owner was going to take a share, but pulled-out on me, so we bought him together.

“It’s great what he’s doing on the track and we bought him a stallion prospect as well. He’s by Bettors Delight, has a fantastic record and will be affordable compared to his Dad when we stand him when the time is right.”


Adam Hamilton

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