Consistency has proven to be his Achilles heel and trying to catch Tagur on a “going” day has been the key. Ability is there, as proven by his 4 previous career wins but the form reads like a sequence of good then bad. Having won easily last time out Tagur had no issues backing that up with another comfortable win when running away with the 1 mile Follow Sun Racing On Twitter Handicap at Southwell.
Having won twice on the spin earlier in the year, Tagur had gone up to a career high of 67. That didn’t seem an issue with the chestnut in good form, he looked to be finding a new level. Unfortunately he couldn’t maintain this and a few poor efforts forced Kevin to have a think about what to do. Ground was though to be one issue so therefore he decided to wait for until the autumn months with softer going and AW available.
Newcastle provided a positive step back into the right direction with a solid 3rd. Again that good performance was backed up by a poor effort when he went to Ayr next time out. Connections were scratching their head a littl with that run so it was suggested that Tagur should be freshened right up and wait for his ideal conditions. Kevin found a seller at Redcar with the aim of a confidence booster for the gelding. It proved to be just that when Tagur made all and bolted up winning by 3 1/2 lengths, although it could have been as far as he liked.
No bid came for him following that win, just as none had at the sales previous. Back on song it was time to go back up in grade. The turf season finished so it was on to the AW and Southwell, the track where his last win came at. The 0-65 mile handicap would be exactly the same contest that he won back in March. Being rated 2lb higher meant he would be carrying top weight so Kevin booked the up and coming Thomas Greatrex to utilise his 5lb claim.
Tagur loves to go forward but the widest draw of 11 would give Thomas a little headache early on. Southwell always sees a strong pace set and this was true once again as the stalls opened. Tagur was a little bit sluggish in the early stages, jumping a stride slow and not really into his stride. With a trio looking to push on, Thomas had to work his mount into the bridle. Tagur got the message and moved up to chase the leaders.
Racing down the back straight they headed into the first bend with Tagur now moving up challenge for the lead. Thomas had inched closer to the inside but would enter the bend racing still 4/5 wide. Having raced through the first few furlongs the bend is a long sweep which would take the field past halfway and into the business end of the race. Having raced wide Tagur surrendered his lead to those inside of him, although it was only by a nose. Sooqaan moved up along the rail, the shortest route possible, to now make four vying for the lead.
Thomas was being very positive throughout the contest and made sure he was giving no ground away despite having to go the furthest was around. It was Tagur and Sooqaan who started to edge away as they made their way inside the 3f and headed towards the home straight. The pair who split them now came under pressure to maitain their position but were not going as well. Sooqaan moved into a length lead and this took Tagur along too, matching his rival stride for stride as they swung off the bend. The pair were now clear of their nearest pursuers and looking back through the field there was very little coming from behind.
With the lead between them and no pressure coming the leading pair now made the best of their way home heading into the final 2f. Sooqaan has travelled as well as Tagur to this point but it was the chestnut who quickly took the lead when asked. Thomas continued with his positive approach and kicked for home. Tagur answered his jockey by moving into a 1/2 length then length lead. Sooqaan couldn’t match the new leader and Tagur started to pour it on once he saw clear daylight.
It was clear before he entered the final furlong that the race was done so it was up to Tagur how far the winning margin would be. Thomas kept him up to his work and the lead extended with every stride. Tagur was enjoying himself and galloped powerfully through the final 150 yards. Having opened up an unassailable lead Thomas sat up with the winning post in sight and allowed to coast in. Passing the line there was a 2 1/2 length lead over Sooqaan with a distance to the rest who were all strung out like chasers.
Tagur is in great order and proved once again that he is far superior in this level. Consistency is the biggest factor with him and if he can start stringing together good runs than he can easily improve into better grades. He loves to bowl along with give underfoot so the AW is ideal for him. This win was off a career high 67 and the handicapper will pile on some more pounds now. It could be maturity at the age of 4 that may well be helping Tagur and it would be no surprise to see the gelding continue his rise over the next few months.