He might be dodging the big guns at Kembla Grange, but Tiger Of Malay remains firmly in contention for a start in the Group 1 Golden Rose.
Trainers Richard and Michael Freedman have opted to run the three-year-old in Saturday’s Dulcify Quality (1500m), rather than bring him back in distance against a hot field in The Run To The Rose (1200m).
But they won’t hesitate to drop him in journey to the 1400m of the Golden Rose in two weeks if he runs to expectations at Kembla.
“Provided he runs well enough, that would still very much be on the agenda,” Michael Freedman said.
“His best win was over 1400 at Group Two level in Queensland and then he probably over-raced a touch at the mile and was at the end of a long prep in the J J Atkins.
“He gives me the impression of a horse that will really enjoy 14(00 metres), 15(00 metres) and if his form warrants it, hopefully we can also entertain a Caulfield Guineas later on.”
Tiger Of Malay was an impressive first-up winner of the Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) when he lumped 61kg, defeating Coastwatch, who franked the form with his Ming Dynasty Quality victory.
He drops to 57.5kg on Saturday but his weight advantage has been somewhat offset by a sticky draw in 11.
Champion hoop James Mcdonald, already a runaway leader in the Sydney jockeys’ premiership, sticks with Tiger Of Malay after partnering him first-up and the colt has continued to please his connections.
“I couldn’t be happier with the horse. He has really come on well from that first-up run and he is obviously in better at the weights under the conditions of this race,” Freedman said.
“But the draw is a bit awkward and we’ll just have to have a think about the best way to ride him from that draw.”
A field of 13 will tackle the Dulcify, including emerging Tulloch Lodge three-year-olds Aeecee Express and Silent Impact, and the Gary Portelli-trained Royalzel who will bid to extend his winning sequence to four.