Tiley likely to take a blinkered approach
A gear addition may provide the edge that Oscar Eight needs to sign off his New Zealand career in style.
The lightly-tried youngster will make his final appearance for Nigel Tiley in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie on January 29.
"He’ll be heading off to Singapore after that,” the Pukekohe Park trainer said. "That was always the plan.”
The son of Showcasing, who is raced by prominent owner and Karaka supporter Chian Kin (C. K.) Phua, has finished in the money in all three of his starts, including a most recent fourth at Ellerslie last month.
"Initially, I was a bit disappointed, but he looked like he went up to win and then got a little bit lost,” Tiley said.
"Michael (McNab) said the horse thought he had done enough so I’ll work him in blinkers and we’ll probably put them on in the Karaka Million.”
Oscar Eight is out of the winning Bigstone mare Zafonique, whose Ferlax colt (Lot 1114) will be offered by Haunui Farm during the Festival Sale at Karaka next month.
Meanwhile, a minor mishap forced Oscar Eight’s stablemate Excelleration to bypass the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
"She had a setback when she got cast in her box and tore a little muscle in her chest, but she’ll be fine,” Tiley said.
"She looks great and I think her target will be the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.”
By Exceed And Excel, Excelleration impressed when she made a winning debut on her home track at the end of November. -NZ Racing Desk.