Leading New Zealand sprinter Mr Tiz has died at the age of 29. The son of Bletchingly passed away in his paddock at Wexford Stables on Thursday night.
The champion short-course performer beat the best Australasia had to offer in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a hat-trick of wins in the Gr.1 Railway Handicap and two editions of the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap.
Perhaps his career highlight came at Randwick in 1991 when he produced a stunning effort under topweight of 58.5kg to claim the Gr.1 The Galaxy at Randwick.
The Australian-born son of champion stallion Bletchingly and top Kiwi-bred filly Yir Tiz won 17 of his 36 starts and stakes of $909,276. He headed the 1989-90 and 1991-92 Australasian 4YO+ Classifications in the 1000-1200-metre category, while he was joint top in 1990-91.
Selected and purchased by co-trainer Dave O’Sullivan at the National Sales for $110,000, he was raced by Sir James and Lady Fletcher, Wilson Jolly and Colin Reynolds.
“He’ll always be special to me, in all those years I never had another like him,” the master trainer said when relaying news of Mr Tiz’s passing to The Informant. “He was the greatest horse and definitely the most naturally talented that I ever trained.”
Lance O’Sullivan, who rode the big bay in all but two of his wins, remembers Mr Tiz for more than just his outstanding ability.
“He was incredible the weights he was able to carry, he was so powerful in front and it was amazing how he could pick himself up and sprint at the end of his races,” he said.
“When he won his third Railway he carried 58.5 kilos off a 47kg minimum. He got decked at the 600 and ended up second last back on the fence, yet he was still able to get up and win by a neck.
“His Galaxy win was special. He carried three kilos more than any other runner and got well out of his ground and then when I asked him to, he just let go. Nothing would have beaten him that day.”
Mr Tiz had his own paddock at Wexford close by the main stable block and his retirement there lasted more than 15 years.
“He had two feeds a day and loved the life,” Lance O’Sullivan said. “It won’t be the same not being able to go out to his paddock and having a chat with him, but we had already reserved a place for him at the stables to lay him to rest so he’ll have a presence at Wexford forever.”
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