Tiger Takes Grand Circuit Title After Hunter Cup Heroics

03 February 2019 | Chris Barsby
Tiger Tara NZ

Tiger Tara NZ

It takes a special horse to claim the Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup.

But it takes a great horse to do it in the same season.

Brilliant pacer Tiger Tara joins Preux Chevalier in this exclusive club following his rampaging victory in the Gr.1 $500,000 Del Re National A G Hunter Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton tonight (Saturday).

And again, it was brutal power running at its finest.

It was a carbon copy performance of both his Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion triumphs this season.

Starting from gate three, driver Todd McCarthy fired Tiger Tara to the lead and just kept improving his position thereafter to claim the 2760m feature defeating Our Uncle Sam and San Carlo.

The lead time was covered in 81.2 seconds.

With Tiger Tara controlling the speed, rivals were making their moves early with Buster Brady moving around San Carlo quickly who was sitting without cover before the All Stars duo of Cruz Bromac and Thefixer made moves and attempted to assert their authority on the event.

The first half of the final mile was covered in identical splits of 28.9 seconds.

And McCarthy was only starting to up the pressure as he headed into the back straight; Tiger Tara was hiking along while rivals were starting to feel the pain.

It only intensified as Tiger Tara charged off the back in a sectional of 27.2 seconds.

Tiger Tara widened his advantage with Our Uncle Sam doing his best to hold his place after trailing the hard-running leader throughout while San Carlo emerged late as a place possibility.

Both Thefixer and Cruz Bromac gave ground quickly.

In the straight, Tiger Tara ($1.90 fav) charged clear and scored easily by 14.5 metres over Our Uncle Sam ($6.80) with another 12.7 metres back to San Carlo ($39.40) in third.

The final split was covered in 28 seconds.

The winning mile rate was 1:53.2 – easily eclipsing his own track record set when successful in the Inter Dominion back in December at 1:53.9.

“He’s an amazing animal and he deserves everything this horse.” Trainer Kevin Pizzuto beamed immediately after the event.

The Bettors Delight entire has now won 35 races while his earnings are now in excess of $2.27 million.

The victory has also clinched the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit title following his mauling’s in the Garden State features this term.

Tiger Tara has amassed 360 points – Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion & Hunter Cup victories plus a nose second behind Thefixer in the New Zealand Cup at Addington back on November 13.

Only two legs of the APG Grand Circuit remain – the Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on March 2 followed by the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park on July 20.

And both events are well within the reach of Tiger Tara.

While Tiger Tara and Preux Chevalier stand alone with victories in the Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup in the same season, they’re joined by the likes of Koala King, Blacks A Fake, Mr Feelgood and Lazarus as winners of the Big 3 events but across different seasons.


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