Cambridge trainer holds strong Oaks hand

Treasure – NZDesk

Tony Pike has no doubt about Treasure’s depths of stamina and he’s also warmed to Caricature’s ability to master the classic distance.

They give him a formidable hand at Trentham in Saturday’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m), a race the Cambridge trainer won in 2013 with More Than Sacred.

“Treasure just wants to stay all day and Caricature isn’t bred to get a trip, but everything she has done suggests she will,” Pike said.

To be ridden by Michael McNab, Treasure won the Listed Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth before the Mastercraftsman filly copped an interrupted run when unplaced in the Gr.3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings.

“Savvy Coup was brilliant that day, but there were a few hard luck stories behind her,” Pike said.

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“Things didn’t go to plan at Hawke’s Bay for Treasure, she needs to get out and rolling and the big, roomy track at Trentham will suit her. She’s ticking along nicely and we’ve always had a very high opinion of her.”

Caricature, a daughter of Power to be partnered by Leith Innes, was runner-up to her stablemate in the Oaks Prelude and then third in the Lowland.

“She probably had a lot more work to do at Taranaki than Treasure and still hit the line well,” Pike said.

“At Hawke’s Bay she was another to get held up.

“It’s a pretty even field and we’ve got two good chances, we’re looking forward to it.”

Pike also has the progressive Alamosa mare Anarchy in the Listed Yealands Family Wines New Zealand St Leger (2500m).

She was a maiden winner three runs back before she claimed a Rating 65 event at New Plymouth and was a last-start fourth in the St Leger Trial (2100m) at Hastings.

“We’ve thrown her in at the deep end, but she’s a nice staying mare and gets her chance at some black type,” Pike said.