Pacer putting wild ways behind him

Tiger Thompson scores a career-best win in the group 3 Central Otago Cup for driver Matthew Williamson. Photo: Jonny Turner
Tiger Thompson scores a career-best win in the group 3 Central Otago Cup for driver Matthew Williamson. Photo: Jonny Turner
The cub came of age in yesterday's group 3 Central Otago Cup at Omakau.

Tiger Thompson paced to a career-defining victory in the group 3 feature in the hands of driver Matthew Williamson.

The ever-talented but sometimes wayward pacer put away some of the tricks that had marred his career and his progress and delivered a professional performance to win.

Quite simply, the horse is starting to grow up and develop.

''He has, for sure; he has grown up a lot,'' trainer Brad Mowbray said.

Mowbray credited his wife, Mel, for playing a major role in the horse's progression.

''He requires a lot of patience, this horse, and she is very good at reading him,'' he said.

''She does a lot of work with the horse and a lot of work at the stables in general.''

Tiger Thompson is no stranger to clashes with his age group's best pacers and if his progression continues, the horse could book himself a start in the country's best 4yr-old races.

''Today was his grand final for this half of the season.

''We will just have to get home and work it out; there are premier meetings coming up and there will be free-for-alls there for him.

''I suppose if he keeps going well, we would have to look at the Taylor Mile and the Messenger.''

Mowbray is wary of making too many travel plans with the horse, as his learning curve is far from complete.

''He is getting better at travelling but he is not a go-away-and-relax type of horse; he is on edge the whole time.''

Yesterday's cup saw plenty of early fireworks when Dexter Dunn set the favourite, Raukapuka Ruler, alight off the mobile.

After a brief duel, Matthew Williamson surrendered the lead but then took Tiger Thompson to the front again.

From there he controlled the race tempo before unleashing Tiger Thompson to run a 56.5sec 800m on his way to winning.

Robbie Burns rallied well from off the pace to run second ahead of Mongolian Hero.

Raukapuka Ruler finished fourth after his early burn.

Matthew Williamson almost took both of yesterday's features but was denied by his brother Brad.

Matthew was in front in race 9 and controlling the race again, this time with Monty Python.

Brad and Alderbeck stalked them from their No1 barrier draw and outsprinted the pair in the straight.

The favourite, Harriet Of Mot, got back in the field and simply could not catch the Williamson pair, running into third at the finish.

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