Hold That Tiger (horse)

Last updated
Hold That Tiger
Racing silks of Michael Tabor.svg
Racing silks of Michael Tabor
Sire Storm Cat
Grandsire Storm Bird
DamBeware of the Cat
Damsire Caveat
Sex Stallion
Foaled25 February 2000
CountryUnited States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Ten Broek Farm
Owner Michael Tabor
Trainer Aidan O'Brien
Record10: 3-1-1
Major wins
Railway Stakes (2002)
Grand Critérium (2002)
European Champion Two-Year-Old (2002)
Last updated on June 21, 2007

Hold That Tiger (foaled 25 February 2000) is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in the United States and trained in Ireland. He is best known for winning the 2002 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère and being named European Champion Two-Year-Old at the Cartier Racing Awards. [1]



Hold That Tiger, is a dark-coated "liver" chestnut, bred in Kentucky by Ten Broeck Farm Inc. He was sired by the two-time American Champion sire Storm Cat out of Beware of the Cat, [2] making him a half-brother to the Belmont Stakes winner Editor's Note and a close relative of the Hopeful Stakes winner Hennessy. He was sent as a weanling to the Keeneland November Sale where he was sold for $1,100,000 to the Irish bloodstock agent Dermot "Demi" O'Byrne, acting on behalf of Michael Tabor. [3] He was sent to Ireland and went into training with Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle.

Racing career

2002:two-year-old season

Hold That Tiger began his career in June 2002 by winning a maiden race at Leopardstown by two lengths as 6-4 favourite. [4] He was immediately moved up to Group race class in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh two weeks later, where he defeated the Coventry Stakes runner-up Pakhoes by a neck. [3] [5] Immediately after the race he was offered at odds of 14-1 for the following year's 2000 Guineas. [6]

In August there was an outbreak of coughing amongst the Ballydoyle horses, but Hold That Tiger was nevertheless made 11-10 favourite for the Group One Phoenix Stakes, only to finish last of the nine runners, showing clear signs of "respiratory distress". [7] He took time to recover and did not reappear for almost two months.

At Longchamp on Arc day Hold That Tiger was part of a four-horse O'Brien entry in the Grand Critérium (since renamed the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère). He started slowly and entered the straight last of the fourteen runners, but then moved to the outside and accelerated past the entire field to win by half a length from the previously undefeated Italian colt Le Vie Dei Colori, with the future Eclipse Award winner Intercontinental in third. [8] It was a performance that was compared by one commentator to that of Dancing Brave in the 1986 Arc. [9]

Although Hold That Tiger, who by now was regarded as the best of O'Brien's many good two-year-old colts, was entered in the Racing Post Trophy, his trainer had more ambitious plans. [10] On his final start of the year, Hold That Tiger traveled to Arlington Park, Chicago to challenge for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a race which O'Brien had won a year previously with Johannesburg. He broke slowly again and spent most of the race towards the back of the field, but then moved up quickly on the outside and stayed on to take third place behind Vindication. O'Brien observed that, "he flew home and could be a (Kentucky) Derby horse." [11]

2003:three-year-old season

In early spring, O'Brien did seem to be considering a bid for the Kentucky Derby, [12] but Hold That Tiger was instead sent straight for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which he was made 4-1 favourite. He made no show, finishing seventeenth of the twenty runners behind Refuse To Bend. [13] At Royal Ascot he finished fourth in the St. James's Palace Stakes, but had excuses, having been unable to find space for a clear run when travelling well. [14] He was well beaten behind Falbrav in the Eclipse Stakes before being campaigned again in North America.

In September at Belmont Park he produced his best performance of the year by finishing second to the American Horse of the Year Mineshaft in the Woodward Stakes. [15] His jockey, Edgar Prado was impressed, saying that "he wins the Woodward any other year". [16] Hold That Tiger was retired after finishing fifth of the ten runners behind Pleasantly Perfect in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Race record

DateRaceDist (f)CourseClassPrize (£K)OddsRunnersPlacingMarginTimeJockeyTrainer
12 June 2002EBF Maiden6 Leopardstown M76/49121:20.40 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
30 June 2002 Railway Stakes 6 The Curragh 3395/441Neck1:17.00 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
11 August 2002 Phoenix Stakes 6 The Curragh 110411/1099111:15.10 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
6 October 2002 Grand Critérium 7 Longchamp 11227/21410.51:20.10 Kieren Fallon Aidan O'Brien
26 October 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile 9 Arlington Park 138111/214351:49.61 Kieren Fallon Aidan O'Brien
3 May 2003 2,000 Guineas 8 Newmarket- Rowley Mile 11854/1201710.51:37.98 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
17 June 2003 St. James's Palace Stakes 8 Ascot 11569/11144.51:39.92 Kieren Fallon Aidan O'Brien
3 July 2003 Eclipse Stakes 10 Sandown Park 121410/11596.52:05.59 Michael Kinane Aidan O'Brien
6 September 2003 Woodward Stakes 9 Belmont Park 118717/2524.251:46.21 Edgar Prado Aidan O'Brien
25 October 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic 10 Santa Anita Park 113005/11057.51:59.88 Edgar Prado Aidan O'Brien


Although he was named Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in the Cartier Racing Awards, Hold That Tiger was rated at 117 in the 2002 International Classification, making him only the seventh best colt of the year. [17]

He was more highly regarded in North America, where his rating of 119 placed him fourth in the Experimental Free Handicap. [18]

At three he was rated at 115 by the International Classification. [19]

Stud career

Hold That Tiger first stood as a stallion at the Ashford Stud in Kentucky before being sold to the Swettenham Stud in 2010. [20] He now operates as a "shuttle" stallion, standing at the Haras de la Haie Neuve in France [21] for the first part of the year, before transferring to the Swettenham Stud's base in Nagambie, Victoria for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. He has had some success as a stallion, notably as the sire of the Eclipse Award nominee Smiling Tiger. [22]


Pedigree of Hold That Tiger (USA), chestnut stallion, 2000 [23]
Storm Cat (USA)
Storm Bird Northern Dancer Nearctic
South OceanNew Providence
Shining Sun
Secretariat Bold Ruler
Crimson SaintCrimson Satan
Bolero Rose
Beware of the Cat (USA)
Cannonade Bold Bidder
Queen Sucree
Cold HeartedThe Axe
Turn To North
T. C. Kitten
Tom Cat Tom Fool
Jazz Baby
Needlebug Needles
Flynet (Family: 8-c)

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