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Best yet to come from Group One performer

11 December 2017, 1:58 p.m.

Ever Loyal came a long way in a short time during the spring and continued improvement is expected during his summer campaign.

The Sebring three-year-old made his first appearance in September and off the back of two subsequent wins, including victory in the Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m), he was a brave third after making the pace in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Ever Loyal Photo: Race Images


“He did it all on one preparation and he did a very good job for a big, green horse,” trainer Tony Pike said.

“It wasn’t the plan to lead in the Guineas, he was supposed to sit outside Bostonian who slipped at the start and Ever Loyal was left in front. That’s not his style and he’s best sitting in behind them.”

Raced by prominent Australian owner Rob Ferguson, Ever Loyal is now back in the stable and will return to racing later this month.

“He had a short break and I’m really happy with the way he has come back,” Pike said.

“He’ll be a better horse this time around and, at this stage, the plan is to kick him off at Ellerslie on Boxing Day in the three-year-old race over 1400m.

“The main target for him is the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.”

Meanwhile, multiple top-flight winner Sacred Star is on target for a first-up crack at the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m), a race he finished fourth in two years ago, on New Year’s Day.

“I’m really happy with the old boy,” Pike said. “He’s got his issues and he always has had, but he’s well and we’ve got about 20kg to pull off him in the next three weeks.” – NZ Racing Desk.