Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Veteran pacer Twoandahalf Tigers ended a four and a half-year drought and a losing sequence of 28 when he caused an upset as a $34 outsider when he stormed home from last at the bell to snatch a neck victory over $81 chance Adda Spoilt Major in the 2130m Nova 93.7 Pace (1) at Gloucester Park on Saturday night.
This was the New Zealand-bred nine-year-old’s third run for Hopeland trainer Giles Inwood, who paid just $2000 to buy the Jeremes Jet gelding five weeks ago.
Inwood is already showing a good profit, with Twoandahalf Tigers earning $6075 from Saturday night’s win and a second placing at Gloucester Park four days earlier.
Emily Suvaljko had the choice of driving Twoandahalf Tigers and the Brad Lynn-trained Joey James, who started favourite at $2.35 and set the pace before wilting to finish fourth. The drive behind Twoandahalf Tigers went to Emily’s father Shannon Suvaljko, who was content to keep the old gelding in last place in the field of nine before starting a three-wide move with just over a lap to travel.
Twoandahalf Tigers was switched four wide at the 300m and finished solidly to win from Adda Spoilt Major, who had enjoyed the perfect one-out, one-back trail. Inwood’s other runner Bettor Pack It, a $26 chance from barrier eight, was sixth at the bell before finishing strongly, out wide, to be third.
Twoandahalf Tigers was a shining light when he arrived in WA from New Zealand in 2016, with his first 22 starts in the State producing ten wins (including seven in a row) and eleven placings.
A friend told Inwood that Twoandahalf Tigers was advertised for sale, and Inwood decided to take the gamble and bought the gelding for $2000. “I bought him just because he was a cheapie,” Inwood said.
“He drew wide tonight (barrier six) and didn’t expect him to run anywhere. But he got a cart up in the last lap and hung a bit on the final turn. He got around the turn and just got up.
“Twoandahalf Tigers had recently been having hoppled training runs on the harder track at Byford, and he had pads (under his shoes). I removed the pads and I have been galloping him in the heavy sand and don’t work him on the track.”
Twoandahalf Tigers now has raced 82 times for 14 wins, 25 placings and $177,276. His dam Tiger Dion won at three of her 30 starts and is the dam of Texas Tiger, who won twice from 20 New Zealand starts before coming to Western Australia where he is unbeaten at his eight starts, including the group 2 $50,000 Four And Five-Year-Old Championship in March, and a Free-For-All in which he defeated Stroke Of Luck and Vultan Tin.