CAMBRIDGE trainer Tony Pike is planning on taking a team of gallopers to the central districts headlined by New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo to target three group one races throughout the Hawke’s Bay Carnival.
Pike believes the star of his stable is more than capable of claiming the New Zealand Triple Crown.
“We’ll be entering Rangipo for all three of the group ones at Hastings,” Pike said.
“He’s starting to breeze up now and hopefully he will come up quickly enough and at this stage I am very happy with him.
“As long as he progresses well, he’ll be going for the first two and ideally all three.”
Rangipo won three times at Group Two level before he beat What’s The Story and the Pike-trained Raghu in the Derby.
The horse failed to place on its Australian debut at Doomben, and after the galloper finished out of the money twice across two runs it finished third in the Group Three Darley Plate.
The horse was then taken overseas and subsequently finished sixth in the Group Two Japan/New Zealand International Trophy.
Pike said his horse had plenty of excuses after making the trip across Tasman, but the improvement the horse has shown has boosted the trainer’s confidence a big preparation is in order.
“We’ve had a few issues with him, but he seems to be coming back to it nicely now,” Pike said.
“We’ll give him a couple of jump-outs and probably a barrier trial before Hawke’s Bay.”
The stable is blessed with a number of smart rising three-year-old prospects, among them the unbeaten pair of Bostonian and Sacred Rebel, Haussmann, Aim Smart, Felton Road and Ujjayyi.
“Depending how quickly they come up, they will be targeted toward Hastings,” Pike said.
“We’ve got a number of nice types and while it would be great to split them up, there is a set pattern on the way to the better races.
“We might look at sending a couple down south early, depending on the track conditions.”