Cambridge trainer Tony Pike left Te Rapa racecourse on Saturday evening with a satisfied grin on his face despite winning just the one race on the day.
While debutant two-year-old filly Subpoena backed up an impressive win at the Matamata trials with an impressive performance to take out a 1200m contest, it was the work of five of Pike’s six-strong assault on the Queensland Winter carnival during exhibition gallops on the day that really had him smiling.
Bostonian, Ever Loyal, Indecision, Intrigue and Terra Sancta all produced eye-catching work before they join last weekend’s Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) winner Endless Drama on a flight out of Auckland bound for Brisbane next Friday.
Pike has enjoyed plenty of success in Brisbane in recent years with the likes of Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) winner Provocative and Gr.1 J.J Atkins (1600m) winner Sacred Elixir and will look to take home some of the major spoils on offer once again in 2019.
“We’ve got a good team heading over this year although it does seem a little strange most of them are sprinters, which is unusual as the kiwi sprinters don’t often compete in Australia,” he said.
“In saying that, all have been working well and I think they are up to the competition they will face over there.
“Bostonian, Ever Loyal and Endless Drama all have the Stradbroke Handicap (Gr.1 1400m) as their main assignment and will take similar paths to get there.
“Bostonian has good residual fitness as he was only in the paddock for three weeks. He went super there as a three-year-old and he had a good hit-out on Saturday that will top him off nicely.
“He will probably go the BRC Sprint (Gr.3 1350m) at Doomben first up, as will Ever Loyal, and then we will take it from there.”
Listed Hallmark Stud Sprint (1200m) winner Indecision looked ready to go first up when completing an impressive workout in tandem with Ever Loyal on Saturday.
“Indecision will be set for some of the fillies and mares’ events during the carnival,” Pike said.
“She is flying at the moment and will be suited in Brisbane as she can handle any track surface, so if they get rain it won’t worry her.
“She worked home beautifully on Saturday, so I think she is spot on for the trip.”
Completing the Pike team are Terra Sancta and Intrigue who also looked in good fettle when working up together.
“Terra Sancta enjoyed her time in Brisbane last year and she showed she is rounding into form with a good hit-out for third at Hastings last week,” Pike said.
“Intrigue is a very promising filly that we have heading to the Queensland Oaks (Gr.1 2400m). I think her issue is a lack of prizemoney under her belt so we may have to look for a win at one of the support meetings to get her qualified for the Oaks.
“We’ve had to do that before, so it won’t worry me if that’s the path we have to take.” – NZ Racing Desk.