It's Tiger Time - Again!
By Adam Hamilton
THIS was supposed to be the gap year in open-class after so many big names left the scene, but Tiger Tara changed all that.
It wouldn’t matter who he raced last night – Lazarus included – nothing would’ve beaten Tiger Tara in the $500,000 Hunter Cup.
No horse has gone better at Melton since it took over from Moonee Valley as the home of Melbourne harness.
In fact, not many horses have gone better full stop.
As dominant as Tiger Tara was winning the Inter Dominion seven weeks back, he raised bar and by quite a bit winning last night.
The times and eased of the win showed just that.
Tiger Tara went 1.1sec faster for his 2760m lead time than he did in the Inter Dominion final and his 1min53.2sec mile rate was 0.7sec inside his own track record set in that Inter Dom final.
“I knew the Kiwis would make their runs earlier tonight than the Inter, so I decided to get running before they got to me. I didn’t want to give them any chance of dictating terms,” driver Todd McCarthy said.
“He just felt awesome tonight. I didn’t really know what times we were running, but I knew he comfortable doing it.
“All credit to goes to Kev. This horse turns up 110 per cent for every big races and it gives me the confidence to drive him the way I do.”
Next target is the Miracle Mile, possibly via next Friday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Newcastle Mile.
“I said to the club I’d take he and Majordan, but the horse comes first. I’ll decide tomorrow,” he said.
Tiger Tara bolted in by 14.5m from Our Uncle Sam, who trailed him and tried hard, while local San Carlo ran a huge race despite being beaten 27.2m into third spot.
The Kiwis were never a chance.
“Tiger Tara was going so quick it just took too much out of coming around them early,” Mark Purdon said.
“I’d have to watch the replay to really assess the runs (of Thefixer and Cruz Bromac), but we were no match for Tiger Tara tonight.
“We’ll see how they come through the run before finalising Sydney plans.”
Thefixer ran seventh beaten 33.3m, Cruz Bromac eighth (beaten 62m) and Star Galleria ninth (beaten 72.4m).
“He was awful tonight. I don’t know what went wrong,” Star Galleria’s trainer Steven Reid said. “They checked him over and he seems fine so, at this stage, we’re still headed to Sydney.”