Champagne Stakes an Option for classy juvenile

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Not An Option

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike was pleased with the efforts of classy juvenile Not An Option after he ran on late to finish third in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.

“I was rapt with the run and 1100m is well short of his best,” Pike said. “It was always going to be a touch sharp for him from that draw (7). We had to go back to last and he has closed well outside. “It looked like a very testing track over there today, so it’s very encouraging going forward. “He is going to improve a lot with that run under his belt.”

Not An Option has a number of high-profile owners including Cambridge Stud Principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Haunui Farm, and Raffles Racing, and Pike is set to call them over the coming days to discuss Not An Option’s next target.

Pike is leaning towards a tilt at the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in a fortnight, believing the mile distance will be ideal for the son of Not A Single Doubt. “I will give the owners a call and talk with Richard (Freedman, caretaker trainer) and see how the horse has pulled up. “As long as he pulls up well and he hasn’t taken too much harm from this run we might run him in the Champagne Stakes in two weeks. It looks like a nice race at the end of the carnival.

“I have always thought 1400m and a mile is going to be perfect for him. “Sometimes those two-year-olds in Sydney, especially on those wet tracks, are starting to get tired by that stage. It could be the perfect option for him.”

Pike purchased Not An Option out of Curraghmore’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $240,000 and the colt has gone on to win two of his four starts in New Zealand, including the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m), and was runner-up behind Play That Song in the Group 2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m).

Later on the card, Pike was disappointed with Sherwood Forest’s unplaced result in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m). The Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner will now head to the spelling paddock after a successful three-year-old campaign, which included a further victory in the Group 3 War Decree Stakes (1600m) and placings in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).

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