YOU could say Kevin Pizzuto is confident ahead of Friday’s Inter Dominion Final at Gloucester Park, but that is an understatement.
Given his stable star has drawn the pole in $1.1million decider, Pizzuto is overflowing with belief he has the right pacer to capture the time honoured Championship.
TAB has reacted by dropping Tiger Tara’s odds from $7 pre-draw to $4 post draw, placing him on the third line of betting. The seven-year-old, which will be driven by Todd McCarthy, was at $15 before the first round.
New Zealand wonder Lazarus is the $2.10 favourite from barrier two, having drifted from $2.40 to $3.20 after his first round defeat.
Local prospect Chicago Bull is the second elect at $3.80 after drawing to follow Tiger Tara from the inside of the second row.
“When I lifted the trophy as part of the barrier draw today and saw it was one, I was dumbfounded,” Pizzuto said. “I’m rapt to have drawn there.
“It’s definitely increased his chances and he’s the one to beat in my eyes.
“Some people are saying Lennytheshark can cross him from six, but I reckon he can lead from there.”
Racing in top form despite a hectic schedule, Tiger Tara boasts a win and two seconds from his three series heats.
Those runs follow a pair of placings in New Zealand Group Ones, meaning the stallion has had five starts in 17 days.
On top of that, Tiger Tara has travelled from Sydney to New Zealand, back to Sydney, down to Melbourne and across to Western Australia during the same period.
“What he has done in the last few weeks has been massive,” Pizzuto said. “He’s taken it all in his stride and now he’s right at his peak for the Final.
“He loves the longer trip, so the 2936 metres in the Final will suit him down to the ground.
“I don’t think any of them can sit outside him and win…whether a sweeper comes is another story.
“They are all good horses and anything can happen, but they’ll have to be good to get past the Tiger.”
In a surprise move, Pizzuto revealed Tiger Tara is likely to become a Victorian after his Perth campaign.
Citing the New South Wales handicapping system as the catalyst for his move, Pizzuto is planning to transfer his team south of the Murray River.
“He will have a nice break after the Final, but on the way home I will be looking at a property in Victoria as I might train there for 12 months,” Pizzuto said.
“There are more options there for my horses as they are getting crucified at Menangle with the handicapping system.
“Plus there are good races such as the Ballarat and Hunter Cups early in the New Year.
“You can only take one step at a time, but you’ve got to also plan things while still concentrating on what’s right in front of you.”
- PAUL COURTS