Graham Richardson experienced one of his biggest moments in racing when Tiptronic won the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa last month and the Matamata trainer is hoping for a repeat performance at Ellerslie on Saturday. “It was awesome, it was a well-deserved win by him, especially since he ran second in the race the year before,” Richardson said.
The six-year-old gelding will tackle the same distance on Saturday when he contests the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes. “He’s very well and I am pleased he has got a good draw (4),” Richardson said. “He has worked up well and looks great. “I think 2000m is his pet distance and he is strong enough now, this is his season.”
While pleased with his runner heading into the race, Richardson is cautious about his opposition which includes Group 1 winners Avantage, True Enough, and On The Rocks. “It’s a strong field, any one of them can win it, but he has got the best strike-rate in the race,” Richardson said.
Tiptronic is likely to head for a freshen-up after Saturday, with a trip across the Tasman on the cards for the son of O’Reilly. “I have got to discuss it with the owners, but he will definitely go out for a holiday after this run because he has had a hard season, and I may take him to Brisbane,” Richardson said.
Richardson will be vying for more Group 1 spoils at Ellerslie when Paisley Park contests the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m). “It is an unusual race in the sense that the race is set-weights and penalties,” he said. “He should be down the bottom of the weights, but he is not. “A few horses got thrown in very well and some got badly treated, that’s just the way it is with set weights and penalties.”
Although concerned about the conditions of the race, Richardson said he was happy enough with the son of Azamour after his last start fifth-placing in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m). “It was an extremely good run in the Avondale Cup. He got flattened by the second horse (Platinum Invador) 150m out. He lost momentum. “He was back in the field, he was supposed to be trailing because he is pretty one paced, and he only got beaten by a length. “It was a top effort and he has come on since then. His work was very good on Tuesday and he is pretty fit.”
Richardson was once again respectful of his opposition in the race. “It is another very strong field,” he said. “That horse from Australia (Etah James) with 53.5kg on its back, and a few others, will be hard to beat. But two miles will sort a lot of them out.”