Pike Gearing Up for Karaka Assault

Media Release - Sunday January 12

As he puts the finishing touches on star juvenile Not An Option’s bid for the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie later this month, Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is already well into the operational requirements for the second phase of his Colts Syndicate initiative that he successfully launched in 2019.

Tony Pike is looking towards KarakaPike put together a war chest from a group of investors to target a handful of well-bred colts during the National Yearling Sale at Karaka last year in the hopes of developing a future stallion prospect from their racetrack achievements. He finished up buying six yearlings with Not An Option emerging as the leader of the pack to date courtesy of his stunning victory in the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham last month.

That result saw Cambridge Stud proprietors Brendan and Jo Lindsay purchase a controlling interest in the Not A Single Doubt youngster for future stud duties and vindicate Pike’s original project decision.

Such has been the demand, Pike will target Karaka again in 2020 for the second edition of the programme while he has also taken the plunge to expand the scheme into Australia this year. Stage one of the Australian opportunity was completed during the week when Pike outlaid A$300,000 for a Not A Single Doubt colt at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast.

“We’ve had terrific feedback from our first Colts syndicate and the original investors are keen to go again so we will be back at Karaka this year to look for another half a dozen yearlings,” Pike said.

“We have a couple of new people wanting to be involved, which is fantastic and we have even decided to expand into the Australian market for a second group of investors.

“We bought the Not A Single Doubt colt as the first stage to filling that syndicate and we will be looking around the other sales over there in the next few months for some more to add.

“Guy Mulcaster and I will start our inspections of the Karaka draft on the Monday before the sale and will work our way down to a short list once we have seen them all.

“It was a really competitive market last year and I don’t expect it to be any different this year.”

Pike is pleased with how Not An Option has trained on following his defeat to fellow Karaka Million 2YO contender Play That Song at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) but will wait until he has met with the Lindsays and Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre before confirming a start in the juvenile feature on January 25.

Not an Option“Brendan and Henry have been at the Gold Coast for the last week so I haven’t really had a chance to catch up with them,” Pike said.

“We’ll get together this week to discuss the plans for Not An Option and a start at Ellerslie.

“He has come on nicely since New Year’s Day and has pleased me with his work so he will be ready to go if we push the button.”

Pike is also looking forward to the second day of the Trentham carnival this coming weekend where Endless Drama will tackle the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) while Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner Loire will make her reappearance in the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m).

“Endless Drama had no luck in the Railway (Gr.1, 1200m) on New Year’s Day as he got caught three-wide throughout so you can put a line through that run,” he said.

“He has worked up well and we are hoping for a much better draw this time.

“Loire had a run at the Cambridge trials last Monday and won very comfortably over 1000m so she is forward for her first start back after a nice break in the paddock.

“We also have Bostonian nominated for the Telegraph but I will be having a chat with his owner about whether we go or not.

“I just think the race may have come up a bit soon for him and we may be better heading over to Sydney a little later on and then back to Brisbane for the winter.”

Pike also advised that pacey three-year-old filly Kali has gone to the paddock for a short break after finishing unplaced in the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) while Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) placegetter Sherwood Forest will have his next run over a middle-distance at Pukekohe in a fortnight.

“Kali is in the paddock having some time off before we get her back for the autumn,” Pike said.

“She didn’t get all favours in the Railway so a break will do her the world of good and we can look at some of those good autumn three-year-old races for her.

“Sherwood Forest went a nice race for fourth over a mile last time at Ellerslie but he is crying out for more ground.

“That’s why we didn’t take him to Trentham on Saturday for the Levin Classic (Gr.1, 1600m).

“He is going to Pukekohe on the 24th for a rating 82 2100m and then he will go to the Avondale Guineas (Gr.2, 2100m) before tackling the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m).”

Sherwood Forest currently sits on the third line of betting at $10 in the TAB’s Vodafone New Zealand Derby market with impressive Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) winner Dragon Leap the $2.80 favourite. – NZ Racing Desk

More Reading...
Third Winner for D'Argento - Due Calzini Opens Account
Due Calzini took on his elders to break his maiden at start four in the Mulwaree Council Maiden Hcp (1500m) at Goulburn on Friday and ring up the third winner from six starters for So You Think’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas winner D'Argento.
Sires With Winners - Friday May 24
Here is the full list of 44 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Sires With Winners - Thursday May 23
Here is the full list of 36 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Kiwi 3YO Stakes Derby Claim
Talented three-year-old stayer First Innings has booked a place in the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) after coming from last to land a 2180m three-year-old handicap at Ipswich on Wednesday.
Serious depth in May (Late) catalogue of 520 lots
G1 winners, dams of G1 winners, mares on world-class covers and several recent Metropolitan winners headline another huge Inglis Digital May (Late) Online Sale.
Dark Horses Will Be Hard to Beat
The horses and riders are arriving at Stonewall Equestrian for the TSHA National Titles (May 23 – 26) and one of the most interesting teams taking on the Maiden Teams Challenge features a couple of wily old showjumpers and a Group I placed Godolphin stakes-winner that earned nearly $1million on the track.
One To Watch - Murwillumbah
Matthew Dunn took the wraps of the promising Tassort filly Shamadan, who will likely head to town soon following a dominant performance on debut over 1010m at Murwillumbah on Friday.
Riverdene Stud Fees Confirmed
Established sires DISSIDENT and SIZZLING comprise the Riverdene Stud stallion roster for another covering season with the Riverina-based outfit confirming that the Group 1 winning duo will again stand at an advertised service fee of $5,500 (inc. GST) on live foal payment terms.
Reliable Man Filly Looking to Add to Te Akau Season of 2YO Stars
Promising filly Star Shadow has the chance to break new ground for New Zealand’s leading stable when she lines up as a hot favourite in Saturday’s Listed Staphanos at Novara Park Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Pukekohe.
Sires With Winners - Wednesday May 22
Here is the full list of 43 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.