Pike wraps star in cotton wool until Stradbroke
TONY Pike is likely to keep Doomben 10,000 winner The Bostonian on ice until the Stradbroke next month, but in the interim he has two stablemates ready to also prove themselves worthy of a shot at the $1.5 million sprint.
Sebring four-year-old Ever Loyal runs in Saturday's BRC Sprint and a week later the dual Group 2 winner Endless Drama runs in the Kingsford Smith Cup.
"We're hoping to sneak Ever Loyal into the Stradbroke and Endless Drama won the Easter Handicap (G2) at his last start," Pike said.
The Bostonian holds a nomination for the Kingsford Smith, but Pike is keen to use his brilliant fresh record to full effect in the Stradbroke.
"His fresh record is outstanding. He's five from five fresh up," he said.
"We will monitor him through the next week to 10 days. The Kingsford Smith is a race worth a lot of money, but probably the four weeks to the Stradbroke is ideal timing for him.
"I wouldn't be at all worried going four weeks into the Stradbroke."
The Stradbroke is short on numbers for horses at the top of the weights, exacerbated further by Osborne Bulls not running in the race.
Pike is comfortable being asked to carry a few extra kilos, having won Saturday's Group 1.
"When you win a Group 1 $800,000 race you have to expect that," he said.
"It will be interesting to see what he gives us, but he's obviously going to go from being close to the minimum and be a little bit more up in the weights.
"He carried WFA against some of the best sprinters in Australia on Saturday and got the job done so hopefully he can afford to carry a little bit more weight in the Stradbroke."
Pike's talented filly Intrigue is set to run over 2200m at Caloundra on Wednesday in a bid to get her winter campaign back on track after finishing seventh in the muddy Gold Coast Bracelet at her first Australian run.
"She hated the ground and to be fair it probably wasn't Leith's (Innes) best work either," Pike said. "She made a very wide long sustained run on the very heavy track.
"She will run at the Sunshine Coast in a $50,000 3YO on Wednesday and should go close to winning that, then we can decide if we go to the Oaks or wait for the Derby.
"She only just snuck into the race at the Gold Coast, so if we waited to Saturday (for the Roses) there's a chance we could end up on the ballot, whereas if she wins on Wednesday that should be enough prizemoney to get her thereabouts for an Oaks start."
Pike said with hindsight he would have run in Saturday's Rough Habit Plate and with the boys not looking strong this winter, the Derby was a realistic option for Intrigue.
LEES TO PRESS ON WITH GEM
Kris Lees has indicated Gem Song will press on to Saturday's Doomben Cup, despite being beaten in the Member's Handicap at the weekend.
Lees noted Gem Song over-raced a touch in the early stages and feels the run will take the freshness out of him.
Chris Waller will again have multiple runners, headed by Hollindale quinella Life Less Ordinary and Mister Sea Wolf, last year's Oaks winner Youngstar and Shillelagh, who missed the Hollindale because of the wet track.
$6 Kenedna, Youngstar
$7.50 Life Less Ordinary
$9 Fierce Impact
$11 Gem Song, Sixties Groove