Joe Pride’s return to the Group One spotlight has continued with Tiger Tees giving the trainer his second big-race win in seven days.
Tiger Tees capitalised on a perfect run and favourable wet track conditions to take out Saturday’s Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill by a long head in a race where Pride saddled up three runners but had his judgment tested.
Before the race, the trainer struggled to split his trio of Rain Affair, Tiger Tees and See The World but had a slight leaning to latter.
“I thought See The World had a great week, he looked super and I thought he might do it for me,” Pride said.
“But I had three great hopes and I’m just happy to take them to the races and give them their go.”
The win of the tough sprinter Tiger Tees ($13) came after stablemate Steps In Time’s victory in last Saturday’s Coolmore Classic (1500m), which had been Pride’s first Group One since the 2011 Doncaster with Sacred Choice.
While Pride was unsure which horse presented as his best Galaxy hope, jockey Nash Rawiller was convinced he was on the right horse after riding Tiger Tees in the Challenge Stakes.
“I got off him the other day and said he would win,” Rawiller said.
“It’s not often you’re right, but I just think everything fell into place for him today. It was awesome.”
Tiger Tees relishes wet ground and trailed the speed set by Kencella and Rain Affair, who missed the start before pressing forward into his usual role on the pace.
Rawiller went for home on Tiger Tees early in the straight and the gelding fought on bravely to hold out three-year-old filly Anatina ($15) with 1-1/4 lengths to another filly, Villa Verde ($6) third.
“He was drawn to get a good run and it panned out beautifully for him,” Pride said, adding Tiger Tees would press on to the TJ Smith Stakes.
Rain Affair finished 10th and Pride ruled out a TJ Smith start, while See The World was seventh.
Anthony Cummings said the outside barrier cost Villa Verde victory, with the filly finishing strongly from back in the field.
“If she draws a gate she wins. She didn’t, and she didn’t,” he said.
Story by Matthew Toogood