Stablemates chasing classic berths

Sacred Rebel lines up in the Mount Shop 1200 this Friday

Tony Pike’s plans for Christchurch will become clearer in the coming days.

The Cambridge trainer has four horses nominated for next month’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with Bostonian, a $12 chance, the only one of the quartet a confirmed starter at this stage.

The Listed El Roca Trophy (1200m) winner secured his place with a luckless fifth in the Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa on Monday.

"I thought it was a massive run,” Pike said. "He got wiped out on the corner and had a front leg taken out from under him. I’m surprised he’s drifted in the Guineas market.”

The stable’s other classic contenders are Sacred Rebel, who runs at Pukekohe on Friday, while Aim Smart and Ever Loyal will be in action on Saturday at Ellerslie and Riccarton respectively.

Sacred Rebel, currently at $31 for the Guineas, steps out in the Mount Shop 1400m.

"We were going to run him in the Sarten then it rained all day and he’s hopeless in those track conditions so he was a late scratching,” Pike said.

"He’s got a wide draw, but we’re running out of time. It’s D-Day for him and if he goes out and runs very well then he’ll go to Christchurch.”

Aim Smart’s southern prospects - he is being kept safe at $12 for the Riccarton feature - depends on his performance in the Love & Co 1400m.

"If he comes out and runs very well then he’s a chance to go down,” Pike said. "It’s been so hard to get a line of them – every decent three-year-old race has been run on wet tracks.”

Impressive last-start Te Aroha winner Ever Loyal, who has shortened to $10 in the Guineas market, has been sent south early for the Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m).

"We’ve always had a big opinion of him,” Pike said. "He’s a long-striding horse and Riccarton will suit him. It looks a nice race for him and hopefully he will run very well and on to the Guineas.” – NZ Racing Desk. 


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