Cambridge trainer Tony Pike cut a satisfied figure on Sunday morning as he reflected on pulling off a successful raid on a Group 1 feature at Royal Randwick a day earlier with class sprinter The Bostonian.
Pike and principal owner David Archer put together a plan well over a month ago to have the now triple Group 1 winner at his peak for Saturday’s first up assignment in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m). Renowned for his ability to win fresh-up (now six from seven), The Bostonian relished the Soft6 track conditions, an inside barrier and a perfect ride from Nash Rawiller to storm past pacemaker Savatiano in the final stages to record his tenth career victory.
“It’s definitely very satisfying to win a Group 1 at headquarters,” Pike said. “Everything just fell into place for him as he got a great barrier and some good cut in the track and then there was a lot more speed in the race than we expected so he got a lovely trail behind the leader. “The 1300m was perfect as over 1000m-1200m they are a little sharp for him and when I saw him top the rise and Nash hadn’t gone for him yet I was feeling pretty confident he would be the winner.”
Pike took the opportunity to check out the Jimmy Choux five-year-old on Sunday morning before flying back home to New Zealand and was delighted with what he saw. “He’s come through the race really well and was very bright and alert on Sunday morning,” he said. “The task now will be to work out where to next as he is likely to only have one more start in Sydney before we back off a little to get him ready to go back to Brisbane and defend his titles from last year.
“We’re looking at either the George Ryder (Group 1, 1500m) in a fortnight where he would be up against Te Akau Shark or waiting for the All Aged Stakes (Group 1, 1400m) in mid-April. “The All Aged might suit him a little better as we know he goes his best races on the fresh side.”
Pike is looking forward to plundering further riches from the Sydney autumn carnival over the coming weeks with Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Sherwood Forest likely to head over for a two-race campaign while promising two-year-old colt Not An Option will trial at Rosehill on Thursday as he prepares for his Australian campaign.
“We’ve freshened Sherwood Forest up after the Derby and all going well, he will travel over on Monday week,” Pike said. “He will have his first start in the Rosehill Guineas (Group 1, 2000m) on the 21st and then the Derby (Group 1, 2400m) a fortnight later. “The 2000m will probably be a little sharp for him but, as we saw in the New Zealand Derby, once he gets up to 2400m I think he will be right up with the best here.
“Not An Option was freshened after the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and he is progressing well so we’re going to trial him on Thursday and then work out a race for him. “That’s likely to be the Kindergarten Stakes (Group 3, 1100m) on April 4 and then we will also get him ready for the Brisbane winter carnival.”
Pike also advised that Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner Loire was also a possibility to head over for a tilt at the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in April but that decision would be contingent on her performance in the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham this Saturday where she meets $1.80 fixed odds favourite Jennifer Eccles in a mouth-watering clash.