Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley has experienced plenty of success in Queensland over the last few years and he is returning to the Sunshine State in a bid to collect some more winter spoils.
Tiley had a successful campaign last year, spearheaded by grey galloper Megablast.
The seven-year-old galloper was victorious in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) and placed in the Gr.3 The Queen’s Cup (3200m) and Gr.2 PJ O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at the Sunshine Coast.
While pleased with last year’s result, Tiley is hoping for a smoother campaign this year after injury last year ruled out early targets the Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) and Gr.3 Tatts Cup (2200m).
“It will be a similar path to last year,” Tiley said.
“He had a pretty interrupted campaign after we had a scare when he bruised his sesamoid. We missed a couple of targets with him, but we managed to resurrect him and get him right for the Caloundra Cup.”
Tiley will set-up a satellite base in Queensland for the winter where Megablast will be joined by five stablemates.
“I am taking six horses over – Megablast, Demonetization, Bisou Bisou, Standing Ovation and a couple of maideners,” Tiley said.
Megablast will likely clash with talented galloper Demonetization in many of his winter assignments and Tiley said he is happy with both horses after they finished 14th and fourth respectively in the Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie last start
“I thought they both went very well (in the Easter Handicap) considering the track was too firm for both of them, so I thought both runs had plenty of merit,” Tiley said.
“Demonetization is pretty much going to follow the same path as Megablast, the Brisbane Cup and possibly the Caloundra Cup, we will just see how he comes up.”
Meanwhile, Standing Ovation and Bisou Bisou will also have black-type targets instore.
“Standing Ovation’s main aim will be the Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) and Bisou Bisou, we will just try and get more black-type for her over there because she will stay in Australia and go to stud.”
Tiley has a busy winter ahead of him, with the South Auckland horseman still having a strong racing contingent in New Zealand over the winter.
He will split his time between the two countries, while wife Lee will head the Queensland barn and newly recruited foreman Karen Zimmerman will lead the New Zealand team.
“Lee is over there now,” Tiley said. “I’ll be backwards and forwards, a week at a time will probably be the longest I’ll be over there, but Lee will be there with them the whole time, which will be until at least the end of July I would say.
“It’s good to have somebody with Karen’s experience and knowledge at home because we are going to have quite a large team racing back here during the winter, so it’s good to have someone with her experience hold the fort for us.” – NZ Racing Desk