Derby prospect now immediate focus for Tiley
Nigel Tiley unleashed another exciting black-type winner at his local meeting last Saturday and will be hoping he can add his New Zealand Derby prospect Demonetization to that list this weekend.
The Pukekohe Park trainer had a satisfying day at the office at his local meeting with a win, two seconds and a sixth from his four starters and next Saturday he will line up the unbeaten Demonetization in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) at Ellerslie.
The highlight of Tiley’s day was the impressive debut win by the Iffraaj two-year-old filly Melt, who followed up an Avondale trials win by trouncing her rivals in the Listed Ashford Lodge 2YO Stakes (1100m).
He also came close to victory with Nina Arora and The Justice League, but, as he points out, they were beaten by better horses on the day, namely Mongolian Legend and Love Affair respectively.
Tiley had originally planned to also start Megablast at the Counties meeting, in the Gr.3 Ssangyong Counties Cup (2100m) in which he finished fourth last year, but pulled the pin after his work midweek.
"His work last Tuesday was okay, but when he is bang on it’s a lot better,” Tiley said. "He’s had a busy year and the tracks are getting firmer so he’s out for a spell. I’ll bring him back in the autumn.”
With Megablast on the sideline, Tiley’s Group One hopes now rest with Demonetization and Melt.
Demonetization has made only three public appearances, for a trials third at Ruakaka early last month, then a debut two-length maiden win at Pukekohe 17 days later and a game short head win over the promising Kapoor in a three-year-old 1400-metre event at Tauranga last Saturday week.
"He’s got a bit going for him, being by a top horse (All Too Hard) from a Zabeel mare (Midnight Special),” Tiley said.
"He’s done well since he won at Tauranga and he’s ready to go around on Saturday in the Trevor Eagle.
"The main aim is the Derby and after Saturday he’ll probably go for the Great Northern Guineas. He’s pretty exciting.”
Tiley knows what is needed to win the New Zealand Derby, having won it as the rider of Ring The Bell in 1980 and again during his first stint as a trainer. He produced Look Who’s Talking to win the 1994 New Zealand Derby in the hands of Grant Cooksley.
Tiley is also excited over the prospects of Melt, who credited him with his 18th black-type win as a trainer when winning the Listed Ashford Lodge 2YO Stakes by three and a quarter lengths from Bit Lippy.
"She’s got that x-factor about her,” Tiley said. "I thought she’d be hard to beat and she won it well.
"Taking a line through the last 600 metres, she wasn’t far off what the open sprinters ran and she doesn’t know what to do yet.”
Melt looks to have inherited some of the class of her speedy dam, Ticklish, who won over 1000m at Moonee Valley and chased the top guns Miss Andretti and Magnus home when third in the Gr.1 VRC Lightning Stakes (1000m).
Tiley believes Melt has Group One potential and has pencilled in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 10 and the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni later that month as possible long-range missions.
"I’ll take the foot off the pedal with her a bit now,” he said. "She can go for the Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie and through that well I’ll look at the Sistema Stakes. Maybe she could step out to 1400 metres in the Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni after that.”
Meanwhile, Tiley will be looking for an open-class assignment next start for The Justice League after his second under 59kg last Saturday.
"He gave the winner (Love Affair) five kilos in weight and they think a lot of her,” Tiley said. "I thought it was a huge run from him. He had to do a bit of work at the start and he didn’t give it away.” – NZ Racing Desk