Group One performer Endless Drama is being set to tackle some early black-type targets in the new season after impressing with his effortless 900m trial win at Te Rapa on Monday.
The rising seven-year-old entire resumed after a pleasing last start third-placing in the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm last month and trainer Tony Pike is looking forward to the season ahead with his charge.
“He galloped really impressively today,” he said. “He ran good time and did it really easily, so I am pretty happy with him going into the Foxbridge and Tarzino.”
The Gr.2 U S Navy Flag Foxbridge Plate (1200m) will be Endless Drama’s first assignment for the season on August 17 at Te Rapa before he heads to the first day of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival at Hastings on August 31 to contest the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).
Pike has been pleased with the son of Lope De Vega’s consistent form since transferring to his stable from Chris Waller’s Sydney barn earlier this year.
Since then he has finished runner-up in the Listed NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) at Hastings in April and was victorious in the Gr.2 Easter Handicap at Ellerslie later that month.
He subsequently ran sixth behind stablemate The Bostonian in the Gr.2 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) before his Group One placing in the Stradbroke.
“He has been really consistent and has been enjoying the change of environment,” Pike said.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way he has been going. He has come back from Brisbane in great shape and it looks like he has got another good preparation ahead of him.”
With Endless Drama being an older stallion, Pike elected to only give the seven-year-old a short freshen-up before his spring preparation.
“He had a couple of weeks off after the Stradbroke, a week off in Brisbane and then a week off when he got back home,” he said.
“Being an old stallion we didn’t want to leave him out for too long and he has been ticking away since.
“He carries plenty of residual fitness and probably only needs to run up to that form (in Australia) to be competitive in the races here.
“Today’s trial will tidy him up nicely and he should be spot on for the Foxbridge.”
While Pike has mapped out his early season targets, Australia could still be on the cards for Endless Drama in the spring if he performs well in New Zealand.
“We will just get through the first two days at Hawke’s Bay and if he races extremely well there’s a possibility he could head back over to Australia,” Pike said.
The Cambridge conditioner was also pleased with the performance of former Hong Kong galloper Prince Hareem who ran home well to finish third in his 900m heat at Te Rapa.
“Prince Hareem trialled really nicely,” Pike said. “I am very pleased with him. I think this preparation he will be even better. He shouldn’t be too far away from winning a rating 72.” – NZ Racing Desk