Provocative retired after tendon injury

Queensland Oaks winner Provocative has been retired after sustaining a tendon injury.

The Tony Pike-trained New Zealand mare sustained the injury over the weekend and connections have made the decision to send her to the breeding barn.

“She had a bit of heat in her tendon over the weekend and we had it scanned on Monday morning,” Pike said.

“It’s revealed a small tear in a tendon.

“Obviously if she was a gelding we probably would have tried to rehabilitate her.

“It would take six to 12 months and the prognosis would be reasonably OK, but obviously with tendons you’re always a little bit worried whether they are going to come right or not.

“Being a four-year-old mare in the spring and a Group One winner, we’ve decided to retire her to stud.”

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Provocative, a daughter of the late Zabeel, won four of her eight starts highlighted by a dominant three-length win in this year’s Group One Queensland Oaks.

“It’s a little bit devastating, but you’ve just got to press on and unfortunately that’s racing,” Pike said.

He said a decision on which stallion the mare would be served by was likely to be made this weekend.

Provocative, who had been due to run in Saturday’s Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield, was one of three Melbourne spring carnival hopefuls for Pike this year.

The trainer will now rely on Group One winners Sacred Elixir and Rangipo.

Sacred Elixir will resume in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude on Saturday week while a decision on whether Rangipo returns in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on the same day or waits for the Listed Paris Lane Stakes will be made after he gallops next Tuesday.

“Sacred Elixir is really going well,” Pike said.

“He’s settled into Melbourne really well and I couldn’t have been happier with the way he’s been working.”

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