By Adam Hamilton
In a surprise twist, a planned Perth raid has been scrapped from Inter Dominion champion Tiger Tara.
Trainer Kevin Pizzuto, who just a week earlier had confirmed the trip, pulled the pin yesterday (Thursday).
“In the end, I’ve put the horse first,” Pizzuto said. “I know I said he was going and I was keen to, but I had some time to think everything through during the week after Christmas.
“What made me re-think it all was the stinking hot weather had up here. It’s flattened most horses and must have taken something out of him as well.
“To ask him to go the long trip to Perth, after he’s already been to NZ and had two trips down to Melbourne this season, was asking to much when I really thought it through.
“Travel is hard on horses, especially when it’s hot this time of year. I’d hate to flatten him with a trip to Perth after I’ve worked so hard to get him the best I’ve ever had him.”
WA’s loss is Victoria’s gain, with Pizzuto confirming the revised schedule will see Tiger Tara’s next major target – and probably next race – be the $100,000 Group 1 Ballarat Cup on January 19.
Then comes the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton two week’s later.
“He’s very fit. I know it’ll be five weeks between runs when he goes to Ballarat, but he won’t need a race. I can trial him, even give him two trials if needed,” Pizzuto said.
“I know the Perth people wanted to see him, but I’m sure I’ve made the right decision by the horse now.
“He can go to those two races in Victoria then come back home where I’ve got the Newcastle Mile or one of the Miracle Mile lead-up races ahead of the Miracle Mile itself.
“The Miracle Mile isn’t the most suitable race for him because he’s a real stayer, but if I change-up his training I think I can get some more speed into him.
“I’ve already got Majordan I’m setting for the Miracle Mile as well. I’d say he’ll go to the Newcastle Mile.”
With Tiger Tara out of the Fremantle (January 11) and WA Pacing Cups (January 18), reigning Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal has assumed dominant favouritism for both races after his easy Gloucester Park win last Friday night.
Best of the locals appear to be dual Inter Dominion finalist Galactic Star, his emerging stablemate Vampiro and exciting four-year-olds like Ana Malak and Mighty Conqueror.