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1992 NZ OAKS: Won by Tigerish


Tigerish, the youngest in the field, and the only chestnut, had too many guns for Rarity and 12 others in the $45,000 Nevele R Stud New Zealand Oaks. Such was her dominance that she looks a good thing to extend her Autumn record at Addington by winning the $135,000 DB Draught Fillies Final, especially from an ideal spot on the front line of the gate.

There was no surprise about last week's result, even though Rarity narrowed the margin back with a lightning burst to a length at the end. Tigerish squandered a wide break half-way along the straight through her little habit of easing up when close to the wire. "She pulled up a bit on me," reported driver James Stormont later. "My plan was simply to follow Rarity out. Once I got to the front I thought I might have got attacked but 3:17 for the trip (2600m mobile) kept them busy," he said. Trainer Lindsay Turner wasn't surprised to see her dodge some of the workload when there was still a bit of business to do. "She will be as lazy as anything if you let her, and it's the same with her work at home," he said. The fastest for the race has been Adina Bebe's 3:16 set in 1989, and the only others under 3:17 have been Young Eden and Julie Vance.

Turner, aged 36, has spent most of his life in the retail industry, employed for 15 years in Australia by Coles-Myer, and more recently in New Zealand as sales manager for FDC in Manakau City. The ability of Tigerish to earn Lindsay and his wife Pam around $240,000 in 14 months has been one of the reasons he has left the shop counter and concentrated on handling horses. They now have two small properties at Pukekohe,one for the agistment of stock, and the other where they have built a new barn to prepare yearlings for sale and wean foals. One horse that won't be in the barn is Tigerish, which is entirely paddock-trained.

Safely through Saturday's classic, Tigerish - a $2,000 buy at the 1990 International Yearling Sale - will be booked on a suitable flight to Brisbane for the Queensland and Australian Derbies, both in July. In the Oaks, the second line draw posed no problems for Tigerish, though it did for Pay Me Back, which broke and lost all chance when Delkedra - later relegated to fifth - upset her. This time she has drawn 11 but will start from the front - as will Pay Me Back - and wise heads won't be needed to reckon that Stormont will steer for the lead. If that is the case, and the others batten down the hatches, Smooth Performer's race record of 2:27.8 will be safe for another year. On Friday night Tigerish will have four fresh rivals against her: Kurahaupo Pride, Amenable, Nicola Mary and Tuapeka Dancer, which fill the places left by Kinski, Chicaboo, Lady's Day, Russley Fancy and Maude's Gift. Her main rivals, going on the Oaks form, will be Rarity and Cut The Cake, which suffered a hard run and took it well, and two Vance Hanover fillies that missed a start in the Oaks, Tuapeka Dancer and Kurahaupo Pride.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HR Weekly

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