Trainer Graham Richardson reckons he may have finally figured out what makes stable star Tiptronic tick. “I actually think he just loves his Christmas dinner,” Richardson said with tongue firmly in cheek. “Once he has had that he seems to grow a leg and really comes right with his racing. “He’s won seven races now and the last three have been within six weeks of Christmas, including a Group 1.”
Richardson admitted he and training partner Rogan Norvall were brimming with confidence leading into Saturday’s CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m) at Ellerslie, with that sentiment vindicated as the O’Reilly seven-year-old produced a game front running effort under 60.5kgs to grind out a comfortable two-length victory.
“We went into the race pretty confident, even though he was carrying a bit of weight,” he said. “I asked Wiremu Pinn to ride him three weeks ago and claim 2kgs off him, which worked out well as he was very confident on him. “I told him to be positive and if something wanted to take him on, to make sure he made them work to get to the front.
“He’s won from in front before and also got beaten at Te Rapa one day when he shied at the winning post after leading, but I was conscious of the weight he was carrying which meant it was easier to lead rather than come from behind.”
Pinn followed those instructions to the letter as he fought off a stern mid-race challenge from Scaglioni to keep the lead before booting clear on the home bend and holding out rivals In A Twinkling and Sir Nate with relative ease.
Richardson will now aim Tiptronic at the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa as he looks to defend the title he won in 2020. “He likes Ellerslie, but he also loves it at Te Rapa so we’re hoping he can show that again this year as I would just love to win the Group 1 again,” he said.
“I don’t think we have ever had him better so if he can maintain that demeanour and attitude then he will be hard to beat. “He even gave me a nip of the shoulder when we were saddling up at Ellerslie, so he is on top of his game. “It’s going to be a tough field, with Melody Belle a likely runner, so they won’t be just handing out first prize. “She is a superstar and has been great for New Zealand racing, but there is part of me that wishes they would retire her and give us all a bit more of a chance.”
The win by Tiptronic capped off a good week for Richardson and Norvall, who produced a winning double at Te Rapa on Thursday. “We had a good week and probably should have won three at Te Rapa as Sacred Amour was a little unlucky when running second,” Richardson said. “The stable is travelling well and we have some nice horses around us.
“Canuhandleajandal is being set for the New Zealand Oaks (Group 1, 2400m) and will go around at Matamata on Monday. “She is poorly handicapped in rating 74 company as a three-year-old filly against the older horses, but she needs the race, so we are expecting a good run from her.
“Devotioninmotion didn’t fire last time out so she is having a small break, but I think she can also win a few more when she comes back in.”