Multiple Group One winner The Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) is set to cross the Tasman once again this spring to try and add to his elite-level tally.
The Tony Pike-trained gelding had another lucrative autumn in Australia this year, bagging his third Group One victory in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick in March, before finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 Geroge Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Sydney will once again be the target this spring, with the rising six-year-old set to kick-off his campaign in a race named after one of the city’s favourite daughters.
“He has been back in work for just on seven weeks,” Pike said. “He is coming up really well. He has had a few pieces of fast work and I can’t fault him, he is looking fantastic.
“At this stage he will probably have a trial or a couple of exhibition gallops in New Zealand and it is most likely, after talking with David (Archer, owner) this week, that he will resume in the Winx Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) on August 22.
“At this stage he will purely be campaigning in Sydney. It’s just a matter of trying to convince the Government to give us an exemption to get a couple of staff members over there.”
The Bostonian will be looking to impress in his first-up run to try and garner some interest from A$14 million The Everest (1200m) slot holders.
“If he could get a spot in The Everest that would be great,” Pike said. “He would be hugely competitive if there was a slow or heavy track, which is a possibility at that time of year.
“If he performs well in the Winx Stakes there is a possibility a slot holder might look at him as a genuine chance in the race.”
Pike has also been pleased with how Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Sherwood Forest (Fastnet Rock) and Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner Loire (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) have returned from their spells.
“Sherwood Forest has been back in the stable for three or four weeks,” Pike said. “He spelled in Sydney before he came home.
“He has come back in great order and will just go along here quietly through the spring. We want to give him a reasonably light preparation. Just depending on how the tracks come up early in the spring we will make some further plans once he is deeper into this preparation.
“Loire came in about the same time as The Bostonian. She galloped this (Wednesday) morning and worked really well.
“I haven’t really sat down with Brent (Taylor, owner) yet, but it’s a possibility that she will kick-off in the Foxbridge Plate (Gr.2, 1200m) and then head to the first couple of legs of Hawke’s Bay.”
Meanwhile, Pike will line-up two runners at Ellerslie on Saturday and he believes both are in with a chance on what is likely to be a Heavy11 surface.
Divine Dive (NZ) (Sacred Falls) resumed with a runner-up performance over 800m at Counties last month and Pike believes he could go one better in the Barfoot & Thompson 880 on Saturday.
“He ran really well first-up, his condition probably gave out on him the last little bit, so he will strip a lot fitter on Saturday,” Pike said.
“The 880m is perfect for him, he will handle the track, and looks a strong winning chance.”
Stablemate Tipical (NZ) (Tavistock) will contest the Barfoot & Thompson 1600 and Pike said he will also take a lot of benefit from his first-up unplaced run over 1300m at Counties. “Tipical is getting ready for a jumping campaign,” he said. “His first run really sparked him up and he will strip a lot fitter on Saturday. The mile will suit and he is a genuine each-way chance.”