A silver lining
By Michael Guerin
There is a silver lining to Tiger Tara’s season-ending defeat in Saturday night’s $1million Ainsworth Miracle Mile.
Because the New South Wales pacing hero will now definitely return for next season even though he will mix it with stud duties.
And that means he is almost certainly heading back to Addington for another shot at the New Zealand Cup.
After crushing wins in the Victoria and Hunter Cups and the Inter Dominion this season Tiger Tara was never a factor at Menangle on Saturday night, settling back and struggling to make ground as Spankem led throughout to win easily.
The defeat takes nothing away from Tiger Tara’s wonderful season but had he won the Mile there almost could have been a feeling of nothing left to achieve, as well as the obvious boost to his already commercial future stallion career.
But trainer Kevin Pizzuto says the rising nine-year-old will do both next season, with the main concentration being on racing.
“He has had a wonderful season but it is time for a break,” said Pizzuto.
“He can have 6-8 weeks off and then he will come back and almost certainly have a decent New Zealand campaign next spring.
“But he will definitely be back racing as well as doing so stud duty.”
That likely means another tilt at the New Zealand Cup, which Tiger Tara has been placed in three times, in November before staying in New Zealand since the Inter Dominion will be in Auckland in December.
But he will mix those racing obligations with stud duties, not that he will actually do both at the same time.
Because harness racing has artificial insemination, which is not allowed in thoroughbred breeding, Pizzutto can have semen collected from Tiger Tara in the off-season and used to kick start his commercial stallion career next breeding season before making that the full time focus when he retires from racing.
“We did a bit of that this season just as a little tester and he already had six mares in foal,” explains Pizzutto.
“So for any broodmare owners who want to breed to him he will be available at $5000 for next season but we can collect all the semen and then race him on.” That is great news for harness fans and administrators alike as Tiger Tara is the biggest drawcard in the industry and a clash between him, the plethora of All Stars pacers and the likes of Poster Boy would be gold for races like the Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and even next season’s Miracle Mile.