The Tiger Army made it three wins from as many starts as he justified his early favouritism for the MIA Breeders Plate.
The Victorian extended the perfect start to his racing career with an all-the-way win in the first heat of the Leeton feature race on Friday night.
Having to work hard from gate six to cross the field during an action packed start to the race, Shepparton trainer-driver Laura Crossland was able to dictate terms in front.
She continues to be thrilled with the son of Sportswriter.
“He was humming into that first turn and I didn’t really know what to do, but I just went with him,” Crossland said.
“His manners are just A1 and that will stand him in good stead for the final.”
The speed at which the two-year-olds started had Crossland worried, and it caused three of the seven two-year-olds to gallop coming into the first turn, but it wasn’t a problem for the only horse with race experience.
Coming home in a slick last quarter of 28.7 seconds, The Tiger Army ($1.35 fav) went on to defeat Heres Your Bonus ($5) by 3.7 metres with Justa Major ($12) in third.
Despite the fast finishing burst, Crossland is confident he had plenty left in reserve.
“He’s actually a like bit dumb at the moment as he’s just settled so much,” she said.
“I never pulled the plugs on him or anything so obviously he had a bit more up his sleeve.”
Crossland is now looking for a good draw in the $30,000 this month.
The Tiger Army clocked a mile rate of 2:01:0.
It was the slightly faster of the two heats with Realnspectacular ($2.40 fav) taking out the second in a mile rate of 2:01.3.
She swamped Jimmy Beach ($3.40) to win by 2.4 metres.
Leader Harry Croft ($6.50) finished third after stablemate Gee Gee Blinxs galloped herself out of contention in the first heat.
The home crowd erupted as the Leeton trained horses battled in out in the finish, but it was the filly who finished off too strong.
Realnspectacular is one of six Leeton Shire trained horses to qualify for the final on January 25.