Four-year-old pacer Tiger Of Old produced a dream start to his racing career with his win on debut in the $10,000 Vicbred Platinum Maiden Pace at Cranbourne on Sunday night.
Prepared by trainer Rick Cashman at the Cranbourne Training Centre for owner/breeder Wally Bickerton, Tiger Of Old was facing the starter for the first time off the back of a handy trial effort at Cranbourne a fortnight ago and raced tough to win.
The son of Major Bronski began safely from the arm and immediately took up a position outside the leader A Lil Bettor with the race favourite Overreaction settling in a trailing position in the running line. Tiger Of Old ran to the lead turning for home and then battled on doggedly to the wire to beat Overreaction and Ronzel Sonny.
Bickerton bred Tiger Of Old from his former racemare Sentimental Life and did all the work with the gelding before sending him to Cashman in October last year.
“He’d had one trial but virtually took no part and Wally thought he’d benefit from a change of environment,” Cashman said after the win. “When he first arrived he was a very nervous horse – he wouldn’t go in the wash bay, wouldn’t go in the shed, wouldn’t go onto the track, but we worked through those issues slowly before sending him for a three month break.”
“When he came back he was more settled and I had Dancing With Flo starting off again at about the same time so they have been able to work up together. He seemed to appreciate working with another horse and started to show enough sitting on speed that we looked to a trial at Cranbourne in early May. He’s still a bundle of nerves whenever he confronts something new so we did things like taking him for afternoon walks over to the race-day stalls and through the parade ring and onto the track just to convince him that another change in his routine or environment wasn’t the end of the world.”
“He did everything right at the trials and following on from that his work really improved to the point where Scotty Ewen and Charlie Wooton were keen to tell me that he’d measure up to maiden company on the strength of a couple of our workouts at home. So we went into Sunday’s race confident that he’d be competitive if he did everything right and that’s how it worked out.”
“I’ll have a chat to Wally but from here there’s a race at Warragul in a couple of weeks time and then another suitable race at Cranbourne later in the month.”
By David Scott
Photo: Claire Weston Photography