Hill-bred Tugawar is a pacing beast 

By Duane Ranger 

He’d bite you as quick as he would look at you, but underneath that rough exterior, Pokeno trainer, Ival Brownlee, will tell you Tugawar boasts a bit of pacing talent. 

The Live Or Die gelding proved that at Alexandra Park last Thursday night (October 20) when he won the third race  – the $20,000 Cup Day Maiden Pace. 

It was the 6-year-old bay’s first win since he made his debut at Alexandra Park 13 starts ago on December 24 last year.

Ivil Brownlee and Tugawar Photo credit // Trish Dunell

Tugawar also maintained a winning sequence for his Paparimu breeders, Brian and Mary Hill, and the dam – the late 2000 two-win In The Pocket mare, Shezaclassact. 

“Three of her four foals made it to the racetrack, and now they have all won races. He’s the last one out of the mare, and sadly she has passed away. 

“He’s a tough Live Or Die gelding, and half-brother to the first foal out of the mare, a pacer named Spook, who also won one race here before going to Australia,” Hill said. 

“I take my hat off to the Brownlees. They have done a good job with him,” he added. 

Spook (1:54.6), renamed, Big Spook, in Australia, won 14 of his 88 starts there and placed 27 times ($115,059). His best win came in the $25,000 Listed Classic Country Series Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle on September 27, 2014. 

Tugawar’s full-brother and the second foal out of Shezaclassact, Paparimu Power (2010) never raced, but foal number three – a Bettor’s Delight 2011 colt named Loud And Proud won one of his 34 starts. 

The last foal – Tugawar recorded a 1:58.9-mile rate and came home in 29.3 and 58.6 for driver, Sailesh Abernethy. So, does trainer Brownlee think the ‘rough diamond’ has turned the corner? 

“The horse must have slipped the breakers a hundy because he can be a pig at times. He’s real vicious and I wouldn’t trust him. 

“He’s a real handful and you have to have the right person sitting behind him. Sailesh did a real good job the other night,” Brownlee said.  

The Pokeno horseman said he also raced Tugawar’s half-brother Loud And Proud as well as the mother, Shezaclassact. 

“I see similarities between Tugawar and his mother. They both have a high cruising speed, but Tugawar is still raw and a work in progress. 

“I think he has a bit of talent because I actually set him for  this race six weeks ago knowing it was worth $20,000. Apart from his behaviour he can run time.  

“I’ve always had bits and pieces to work with in my 18 years as a trainer, and this fella does have potential. He’s only had 13 starts, so I’m hoping he will mature both on and off the track with time,” Brownlee said. 

Tugawar is owned by Brownlee’s parents, Ival Senior and Lorraine. 

For the record the Hills, who could only be contacted briefly at their Paparimu farm, also race Cruise Control  – a 4-year-old Master Glide – Petite Sunshine (Sundon) gelding, who has so far won one race for his Waiuku trainers, Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett.