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Weather will decide Pike’s Guineas contenders

1 October 2017, 2:15 p.m.

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike will keep an eagle eye on the Hawke’s Bay weather over the next seven days as he configures his runners for Saturday’s Gr. 2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

With five potential candidates for the first of the season’s big three-year-old events Pike is in position to dominate the contest however that scenario will change rapidly should a severely rain affected surface prevail on the day.

Aim Smart Photo: Trish Dunell

“We could have had five in the race but at this stage it will most likely be just the four with that changing if we strike a wet track,” he explained.

“Sacred Rebel will run at Te Rapa on the Friday in a three-year-old 1200 metre race while Aim Smart will only be a runner if we get a half decent track.

“Bostonian, Haussmann and Felton Road can all handle it when it is wet so they are the most likely of the group to be running.

“At this stage I’m getting mixed reports on what the day might bring so we will just have to play it by ear and make our final decisions much closer to the day.”

Pike is pleased with the improvement he has seen from each of his candidates as he heads towards a busy period with the classic contenders.

“Aim Smart and Felton Road both pulled up superbly after their runs at Ruakaka and they have come on nicely since then,” he reported.

“Given the way the track played that day we didn’t think we could beat Prom Queen and that’s how it unfolded. Aim Smart went in to it without a trial and has improved markedly while Felton Road took plenty of benefit from the race as well.

“Haussmann was a bit of surprise packet with how he won so well first up at Hastings as we thought he might come to the end of it in the last little bit without the benefit of a trial. He does handle the wetter stuff and will appreciate a step up to the 1400 metres of the Guineas.

“Bostonian is just a real professional which he showed with his win on the first day and has pleased me with his work since then.

“It is a shame that they all have to clash so soon as I have been trying to keep them apart where possible but the wet tracks have put paid to those plans.

“The big races are coming up and we knew they would be likely to meet then so we will know a fair bit more on where they will all go after Saturday.” – NZ Racing Desk