Sent off the favourite in the Class 2 race over 1400m on January 25, the Snitzel five-year-old had his backers close to tearing their tickets when he blundered at the start and settled last in the 12-horse field.
Turning for home, Paparazzi was still seeing them all, but had in the meantime made up stacks of ground, looking half-a-chance when he swerved home the widest for apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen.
Then came the second blip which probably cost him a few lengths but not quite the race.
Just as the War Stable-owned gelding was cutting back his rivals down the outside, eventual winner Robin Hood (Marc Lerner), who had hit the front at the 300m, started to run off the track, causing Paparazzi to hesitate ever so slightly as he strode across.
Wong did pause a fraction and had to alter course around Robin Hood, but to be fair, the winner was always clear.
It’s debatable if Paparazzi could have won had he had a cleaner jump and a clearer run, but Tan is not one to dwell in the past. He would rather worry about the next assignment, the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1400m.
The opposition is tougher, though. With the likes of Group winners Be Bee and King Louis, and the up-and-coming Curvature in the mix, Paparazzi will have to bring his A-game, not just his best barrier manners.
Tan said he could not fault his charge’s condition since his last start, but only wished for a bit of luck at the draw and with the weather.
“He missed the start at his last race. He had excuses, but it was still a great run,” said the Penang-born handler.
“He’s facing a much stronger field this time, but the horse is well and I couldn’t be happier with the little freshen-up he’s had.
“He just needs a bit more rain until Sunday, and with a bit of luck of the draw, we’ll see what happens.”
Tan, who has three winners on the board this term, but has not picked up another winner since Centurion on January 20, is putting his apprentice jockey Wong back on the three-time winner – all registered when prepared by Shane Baertschiger last year and over 1200m.
“The 1400m is a trip that suits him. Fingers crossed, everything goes all right time, and he should be running on,” said Tan.