The 2014 Aurie’s Star Handicap odds of Tiger Tees have shortened in the past 24 hours and he is now into odds of $3.30 to make a winning return to racing in the Group 3 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Tiger Tees opened at Aurie’s Star Handicap odds of $3.80, but he has received plenty of betting support from punters right around Australia and trainer Joseph Pride is confident that the seven-year-old can deliver for favourite backs.
The Dubawi gelding has not been seen at the races since he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 10 and he did not standout in two barrier trial appearances at Royal Randwick on July 18 or August 1, but Pride told TVN that the Group 1 winning sprinter does not need to be at his best to win the Aurie’s Star Handicap this weekend.
“They have been ok, they have been lightning, but he hasn’t been asked for a massive effort in either,” Pride said.
“I have seen him trial better, but he doesn’t need to be at his peak tomorrow he just needs to run up to maybe what he did in Brisbane first-up last time.
“He should be giving his opposition a bit more there, but I am not complaining.”
Tiger Tees was included in the nominations for both the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and the Aurie’s Star Handicap, but Pride made the decision early in the week that the veteran sprinter would make the trip to Melbourne.
Pride said that the strong nominations played a role in his decision and added that he was hoping to find a softer track for Tiger Tees, who has produced his best form on rain affected surfaces throughout his career.
“I was just hoping for a different sort of track than what we have here in Sydney at the moment,” Pride said.
“We have tracks here that haven’t been rained on for a long time and I think that the early morning frost has really put a real crust on top of them.
“I’m hoping that it will be a bit of a winter track down here with a bit of give in it.”
The only other runner in Aurie’s Star Handicap betting markets that has received betting support is Pat Hyland-trained Shanghai Warrior and he is now into a quote of $5.50 to record his first race win since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.