Weather hampering Pike’s 3YO plans

Felton Road
Felton Road is one of many three-year-olds in the Tony Pike stable which has a big spring season ahead of it. Photo: NZ Racing Desk

TRAINER Tony Pike is doing his best to lock in programmes for his impressive array of three-year-old talent, but he conceded conditions are not making the his plans easy.

While Pike is bemoaning the less than ideal weather, he admitted his conundrum is not an isolated one.

“It’s a nightmare at the moment with the weather and to be fair it’s the same for everybody,” the Cambridge trainer said.

“It’s certainly playing its part, but at this stage Felton Road will definitely go to Ruakaka on Saturday and possibly Aim Smart.”

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The race Pike has his eye on is the Group 3 Tavistock Northland Breeders’ Stakes.

Felton Road was successful when resuming at Te Rapa in August to take its record to three wins from five appearances while Aim Smart beat the subsequent Group One winner Summer Passage on debut last season.

He was then turned out after an unplaced run in the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper.

“We haven’t been able to get a barrier trial into him and he’s a big-actioned horse who needs a better track,” Pike said.

Meanwhile, the unbeaten Bostonian has come through his Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy victory in good style and will return to Hastings for the Group Two Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas on October 7.

“He’s not very big, he’s plain but he is genuine,” Pike said.

“He’s a professional who’s done nothing wrong.”

Sacred Rebel was beaten by the slow ground in the El Roca, his first outing since his first-up win in June.

“He slipped out of the gates and got a lot further back than we thought as a result,” Pike said. “He needs better ground so he could possibly run at Ellerslie on September 30, depending on the weather.”

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Last season’s Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes winner Haussmann is yet another three-year-old on hold until the tracks improve.

“He’s not far away and he could have a quiet run along at Avondale on Thursday,” the trainer said.

“Again, it’s all weather dependent with him.”