Tiger Tees rose to the occasion almost every time last year but in 2012 he will have to repeat the effort in a slightly different environment.
The Joe Pride trained galloper is yet to race over more than 1200m but that will change this weekend in the January Handicap at Warwick Farm.
He will be eased up in trip gradually, the January Handicap a 1300m contest, with the ultimate aim potentially even the Doncaster Mile in the autumn.
“I’ve got no concerns with the distance and Saturday will be a help to planning where we go with him,” Pride said.
“He’s still got to win a black-type race before we decide how high he goes.
“I think this might be the right time to put him over more ground and it will tell us a lot.
“Last time he raced over 1200 metres it was at Rosehill and he looked like a horse looking for more ground.”
Tiger Tees has been a sensation for the Pride stable, from eight starts he’s amassed six victories in ever increasing grade.
Last start he dropped back to 1100m at Canterbury and won with ease on Christmas eve over a field which included Dystopia.
It took the might of dual Group 1 winner Atomic Force to beat him the start before that and even then the margin was a mere half head.
Another bonus of Tiger Tees is his ability to adapt to all conditions but that said like many trainers Pride doesn’t want the track too firm.
That issue rose to a head at Warwick Farm on Monday when Pride voiced his concerns with the racing surface despite winning the Carrington Stakes with Rain Affair.
On that note, Rain Affair will remain on ice for the rest of this month before embarking on an autumn program.
“He’s gone out and will spend seven to ten days on the water-walker,” Pride said.
“He’s not going to run until the Expressway in February and then we’ll see what his Group One targets are whether in Sydney or Melbourne.
“I’m toying with the idea of the Newmarket Handicap and then there are races like the TJ Smith and the All-Aged Stakes in Sydney.
“They are the obvious ones.”