Tigerland pounces in thrilling Cup finish

Tigerland, ridden by Damian Lane, Grand Sai Wan and Daybreak hit the line in a close finish at Wangaratta yesterday. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Tigerland, ridden by Damian Lane, Grand Sai Wan and Daybreak hit the line in a close finish at Wangaratta yesterday. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

LIGHTLY raced galloper Tigerland broke through for the biggest win of his short career in the $80,000 Wangaratta Cup yesterday.

Ridden by Damian Lane, Tigerland ($2.10-fav) overcame a tardy start to scorch home in the final 75-metres and overhaul Daybreak ($8) by a head.

In a thrilling finish, Wodonga Cup runner-up Grand Sai Wan ($7) was a short-head further back in third.

Trained at Mornington by Matt Laurie, Tigerland was stepping up to the mile second-up, after running third to Mandala at Flemington when resuming last month.

Laurie admitted to some anxious moments after Tigerland bungled the start.

“As soon as he jumped I thought, ‘You’re a bastard for doing that,’ because he’s done that several times before,” Laurie said.

“But he’s got a lot of ability and he’s a real trier, so all was not lost.”

Tigerland was unraced as a two and three-year-old but won five of seven races in his first preparation last year.

The five-year-old has now won six of his nine career starts and almost $180,000 in prizemoney.

Lane said he didn’t panic after missing the start and just let Tigerland find his rhythm before pushing out on the home turn.

“I always felt like I was the winner, it was just a matter of timing and he did the rest,” he said.

The Brian Cox-trained Bringenbrong was the best performed local, finishing fifth in the nine-horse field with Craig Newitt aboard.

Jockey Luke Currie claimed the riding honours with a double aboard the Peter Smith-trained Play Master and the Chris Calthorpe-trained The Shank.

 First "Tigerland" ridden by Damian Lane, third "Grand Sai Wan" ridden by Shirley Hunter and second "Daybreak" ridden by James Winks

First "Tigerland" ridden by Damian Lane, third "Grand Sai Wan" ridden by Shirley Hunter and second "Daybreak" ridden by James Winks

"Tigerland' recorded another win after ride by Damian Lane

"Tigerland' recorded another win after ride by Damian Lane