Champion sprinter Mr Tiz passed away in his paddock at Wexford Stables in Matamata on Thursday night. He was 29.
He claimed a hat-trick of Group 1 wins in the Railway Handicap and two editions of the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap. He also produced a stunning effort under top weight of 58.5kg to claim the G1 Galaxy at Randwick in 1991.
Mr Tiz (Bletchingly – Yir Tiz by Bismark) won 17 of his 36 starts and headed the 1990, 1991 and 1992 Australasian 4YO+ Classifications in the 1000m – 1200m category.
Selected and purchased by trainer Dave O’Sullivan at the NZ National Sales for $110,000, he was raced by Sir James and Lady Fletcher, Wilson Jolly and Colin Reynolds. “He will always be special to me, in all those years I never had another like him,” ’Sullivan recalled. “He was definitely the most naturally talented horse 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. He was so powerful in front with the weights he carried. It was amazing how he could pick himself up and sprint at the end of his races.”
“In the 1991 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 3kg 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.”
In the last start of his career, Mr Tiz finished third in the 1991 G1 Gadsden Stakes at Flemington won by Final Card. Ellerslie, the scene of his historic Railway treble, honours the champion sprinter with the Mr Tiz Trophy during Auckland Cup Week.
Mr Tiz had his own paddock in retirement at Wexford close by the main stable block. “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 will have a presence at Wexford forever.”