Tiger Tara tough task ahead
by Michael Guerin
A glorious defeat in last season’s New Zealand Cup gives the Tiger Tara camp confidence they have more than just a Plan A at Addington this afternoon.
The Aussie could have started favourite in the great race had his drawn to lead, a position from where he defeated Lazarus twice last season and won the Victoria Derby in devastating fashion three starts ago.
A rampant Tiger Tara might have been impossible to run down today but his second line draw coupled with the quartet of favoured Purdon-Rasmussen rivals drawn well suggest finding the lead could be tricky, potentially impossible.
But neither trainer Kevin Pizzuto nor driver Todd McCarthy think that means Tiger Tara is staring at another brave defeat.
“He ran third to Lazarus last year after sitting parked, galloping down the back straight and coming again,” says Pizzuto.
“So we know he can sit parked and be hard to beat, which he might have to do.
“He is better than last season too so he can win without leading.”
McCarthy isn’t getting carried away with tactics, admitting his first job is to navigate the first 400m safely before considering his options.
“It is hard to predict standing starts but if he gets away cleanly then I have options.
“Sure, leading would be great but if that isn’t up for grabs then I think he has earned the respect to get the chair (parked out) and control the race the last lap.”
Tiger Tara is set to be the biggest drifter in the Cup market after opening at $3.80 straight after the draw, with $5 or better a more likely tote price.