Tiger Tees has not recorded a race win in almost 18 months, but trainer Joe Pride believes that a wet track at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow give the veteran sprinter every possible chance to return to winning form in the 2016 Expressway Stakes.
Tiger Tees has not recorded a race win since he led from start to finish to win the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and he did not beat a horse home in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) or Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) last autumn, but he was not disgraced in three race starts during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Dubawi gelding started his spring campaign with a gallant fifth behind stablemate Terravista in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 and he was beaten by less than five lengths by the best sprinters in Australia in both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 and the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 7.
Pride told Racing Ahead that sort of form is stronger than it looks on paper and he is optimistic about the chances of Tiger Tees in the 2016 Expressway Stakes, especially if more rain hits the Rosehill Gardens track in the lead-up to the race.
“He is in good order,” Pride said.
“He only had three weeks off after the Darley.
“His recent form may not read that well on paper, but he is getting beaten three or four lengths by the best sprinters in the world on dry tracks.
“The turnaround here to a wet track and a good steady level below that kind of opposition puts him into the mix tomorrow.”
Tiger Tees was included in the 2016 Newmarket Handicap nominations that were released earlier in the week, but Pride said that he does not have any firm plans for the gelding and will run him wherever he can find a wet track.
“He is very much up in the air and I just go in search of wet tracks,” Pride said.
“He could bob up anywhere.”
Tiger Tees is currently available at 2016 Expressway Stakes odds of $13 with Ladbrokes and he is on the sixth line of betting behind Our Boy Malachi ($2.30), Generalife ($3.50), Solicit ($6), Big Money ($12) and King’s Troop ($12).
Pride is chasing his second win in the Expressway Stakes after winning the 2012 edition of the race with Rain Affair.