Tiger Tees is likely to step-up to 1400 metres for the 2016 Apollo Stakes and trainer Joe Pride is hopeful that the extra distance will help the veteran gelding return to a semblance of his best form in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Tiger Tees returned to the races with a fourth place finish behind Our Boy Malachi in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30 and he was included in the nominations for both the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) and the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) that were released yesterday.
Pride is yet to fully decide which race Tiger Tees will contest, but he is likely to be given the chance to step-up to 1400 metres for a clash with Cox Plate winner Winx in the Apollo Stakes.
“I just want to see what they do with the weights in the other race first, but if they burden him with too much it will probably have to be in the Apollo and he is probably looking for 1400, but an easier 1400 metres than that one against Winx,” Pride said.
“I am looking forward to getting him up over a little bit further and I think that will help as the tempo won’t be quite as frantic for him.”
There was plenty of money for Tiger Tees in the lead-up to the Expressway Stakes, but the eight-year-old never looked comfortable in the early stages of the race and he could finish no better than fourth.
Pride admitted that he thought Tiger Tees would produce a better performance in the Expressway Stakes and he said that retirement could be option for the Group 1 winner if he fails to perform in his next couple of race starts.
“It was a bit disappointing,” Pride said.
“He never really looked comfortable, it was unusual for him because he normally likes wet tracks, but he just never got comfortable at any stage.
“He was pretty gutsy to fight on.
“He is probably getting close to retirement, so he has a little bit of a point to prove in his next run or two.”
Tiger Tees is step to step-up to 1400 metres for the first time since he finished second behind Lucia Valentina in the 2014 edition of the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and he is chasing his first race win since his triumph in the