Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is happy with the way his three-year-old fillies Loire and Kali have pulled up after Saturday’s Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes (1200m).
Pike was particularly pleased with Loire’s performance to finish third and believes she will be suited to stepping up to the mile of Novembers’s Gr.1 gavelhouse.com NZ 1000 Guineas.
“Loire has come through it in superb order, it was a really good run,” he said. “We knew 1200m was short of her best, hence we put the blinkers on.
“She was one of the few that really closed from a fair way back all day so it’s really encouraging heading forward to a mile at Riccarton. I think she’s going to be a chance in the Guineas down there.”
Although frustrated with race favourite Kali’s luckless run, Pike was still pleased with her performance and believes her time will come.
“Unfortunately, Kali’s still looking for a run,” Pike said. “She’s gone super and Troy (Harris, jockey) said he had plenty of horse underneath him too but at no stage did she see daylight up the straight.
“She’ll keep, she’s a very smart filly and we’ll just press on from here. She’s got plenty of ability, she’s had luckless runs the last two starts and I’m sure she’ll be back winning again shortly.”
Pike has a few options in the lead-up to the 1000 Guineas with the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) and Gr.3 Partners Life Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) two viable options.
“It’s five weeks if we want to go to the Soliloquy or the Sarten, we’ll just play it by ear at this stage,” Pike said.
“We’ll see how they come through the week and sit down and have a bit of a chat and see if we have a run before one of those two races or not.”
Meanwhile, stablemate Spring Bouquet ran on well to finish runner-up in the Springtime Handicap (1420m) at Flemington on Wednesday.