Distance Key for Tiger Tees in 2016 Apollo Stakes

February 9th, 2016

Trainer Joe Pride is confident a step-up to 1400m for Saturday’s featured 2016 Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick will play a key role in veteran sprinter returning to winning form following a credible racing return a fortnight ago.

Tiger Tees will contest Saturday's 2016 Apollo Stakes at Randwick second-up. Photo: Steve Hart

Tiger Tees will contest Saturday’s 2016 Apollo Stakes at Randwick second-up. Photo: Steve Hart

A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of The Galaxy (1100m), Tiger Tees jumped from the gates well in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up and was immediately led to the fore of the field by jockey Hugh Bowman; setting a reasonable tempo.

Offered a clear line upon arriving at the final straight, the Dubawi gelding plugged away but was overcome by the likes of Our Boy Malachi and Solicit, finishing a credible fourth.

Conceding weights may play a role in the course of action taken with Tiger Tees this weekend, Pride is pleased with the veteran sprinter’s condition and is confident he will lay a great account for himself should he contest the 2016 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.”

Pride admitted he was somewhat disappointed by Tiger Tees’ late fade in the Expressway Stakes but pleased the veteran continues to produce gutsy efforts in less-than ideal scenarios.

“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 has been a strong and consistent performer since first appearing on course in 2011; posting thirteen wins and six minors through 36 competitive starts.

The 2016 Apollo Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.

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