Gisborne looking best option for 3YO
13 February 2018, 12:59 p.m.
Tony Pike is reverting to Plan B to give Sacred Day a chance to keep his Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) hopes alive.
The Cambridge trainer has the Azamour gelding in Wednesday’s Race A Horse With Te Akau 1600m at Te Aroha, but has all but ruled out a start there.
|Sacred Day Photo: Race Images|
“He will not run on a heavy track and we’ve had so much rain in the Waikato that it couldn’t be anything but that,” Pike said.
“At this stage, we’re taking eight or 10 to Gisborne on Sunday and it’s a Slow 7 there, but it’s a mostly fine week there so it should be ideal. He can run in a mile or over 2000m.”
Following his runaway maiden success at Hastings earlier this month, Sacred Day has been kept safe at $21 in the market for next month’s Vodafone-sponsored classic at Ellerslie.
“It’s probably coming up a bit quick for him, but if the field continued to drop off and he blew them away on Sunday we might roll the dice – otherwise there’s always Sydney,” Pike said.
Debut-winning Pierro filly Terra Sancta, who holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m), is another likely to bypass Te Aroha in favour of Gisborne.
“We don’t want her to get knocked around on a heavy track either,” Pike said.
Ocean Park filly Pink Graffiti is close to her breakthrough success and she is likely to take her chance in Wednesday’s Baker & Forsman Racing Stables 1400m.
“She’s promising and I guess it really depends how much more rain they get,” Pike said.