Dominic Zaki has a smart 3yo sprinting filly on his hands. The Australian bred Tiger Quest spreadeagled her field with a show of lightning toe to win the R150 000 Listed Gardenia Handicap run under the lights over the Turffontein 1000m on Friday evening. She looks a filly with a bright future.
The winner’s sire, Where’s That Tiger, relocates to South Africa early in 2014 and the son of Storm Cat could make a welcome addition to the stallion ranks.
The Zaki yard is on fire after a quiet spell, and Tiger Quest looked magnificent in the preliminaries.
Francois Herholdt deputised for the indisposed Muzi Yeni, and made good use of the tailwind and the conditions to ride a confident winning race.
After a smooth and even jump, Herholdt had the Zaki filly tight against the steel down the inside ahead of her ten opponents, as the KZN challenger Swell Party showed pace and kept her honest.
Tiger Quest was never headed and continued to gallop strongly as she went all the way to the line, to win in a time of 56,02 secs.
The Sean Tarry Caesour filly Dolomiti ran on strongly late in the race for second and 1,75 lengths behind, over a trip that is short of her preferred cut.
Miss October, who has relocated from the Dennis Drier yard to Geoff Woodruff, stayed on after a six month break, for the third cheque.
Tiger Quest is improving fast. Despite the stiff penalty incurred after her last win in strong company, where she beat Jackodore in emphatic style after Yeni had dropped his rein, she lifted her game here and looks to have lots to come.
Jockey Francois Herholdt was all smiles afterwards:
“I knew the Durban horse(Swell Party) would have pace on my inside, and I was instructed to have her where she was comfortable . She ran straight today and won a good race, “ he said..
Trainer Dominic Zaki, who had been very bullish aboutTiger Quest’s prospects in the pre race analysis, was naturally also over the moon afterwards.
“I was under no pressure and my owners gave me the thumbs up to take things slowly as my horses recovered from the virus. That makes a big difference for any trainer, and makes my job a pleasure. This is a smart filly,” he said.
Tiger Quest was bred by Evergreen Stud Farm in New South Wales, in partnership with Messrs Larry Nestadt and Bernard Kantor.
She was a first stakes winner for Where’s That Tiger, and is out of the unraced Canny Lad mare, Sempervivent.
A winner of 4 races with 3 places from her 9 starts, Tiger Quest took her earnings to R363 575.
Tiger Quest’s sire Where’s That Tiger, who retired to stud in Australia in 2009, is, as stated earlier, relocating to South Africa in February 2014.
A magnificently bred son of revered sire-of-sires Storm Cat, Where’s That Tiger commenced his racing career in Ireland where he was a successful member of the all-conquering Ballydoyle team.
Where’s That Tiger scored on debut at The Curragh for master trainer Aidan O’Brien, landing a 2YO Maiden over 5 furlongs. Significantly, all three starts during his juvenile year were at the imperial equivalent of 1000 metres, including his close-up fourth in the Listed Aubigny Stakes at Goodwood.
The second phase of Where’s That Tiger’s race career came in the United Arab Emirates, where his three outings as a 3-year-old saw him post a notable placing in Group company.
At his first start for trainer Mike de Kock, Where’s That Tiger finished runner-up in the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas (1400m), beaten half-a-length after racing wide for most of the contest. Where’s That Tiger also placed second over 1800m during his three race career in Dubai, before his subsequent transfer to Australia in order to continue his racing career.
Mike De Kock labelled him “A horse with enormous talent — which we only caught a glimpse of when beaten a short head in the UAE Guineas.” “Given his pedigree and what he showed on the track at home, he could have been anything.”
During his time in training with champion trainer Gai Waterhouse, the son of Storm Cat showed distinct promise for his intended racing career on these shores, winning a Rosehill barrier trial over 900 metres. An indication of his obvious talent is illustrated in the fact that Where’s That Tiger finished clear of five individual stakes horses in the trial, including the notable Group 3 winner Hoystar and the Group 1 performed Banc de Fortune.