Former New Zealander Tiakinui has the Kyneton Cup in his sights after storming home to win the Gold Nugget at Ballarat.
Trainer Matthew Enright said he was looking forward to the eight-year-old stepping up in distance after Wednesday’s victory in the 1600-metre event.
He said Tiakinui had been tried three times between 2000 metres and 2200 metres in New Zealand in December 2008 for one placing but the way he finished off the Gold Nugget convinced him to have another try.
“I thought he might have needed the outing today but he got the perfect run behind the favourite (Dead End, who finished fifth),” Enright said.
“That’s the way he’s got to be ridden as he’s only got a 200-metre sprint and then he knocks up.”
Tiakinui scored in photo-finish from local galloper Sylvan O’Reilly and Elusive King.
He is lightly raced for his age and four of his seven wins in 25 starts have been since he arrived in Australia late in 2009.
The Kyneton Cup (2000m) is on November 2.