Pike confident of a bold Classic showing

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  • November 17, 2023
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Tony Pike doesn’t have any concerns about Impendabelle’s ability to cope with a step up in trip in Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

The Cambridge trainer is confident his in-form charge will produce another strong performance against the best of her sex in the Barneswood Farm-sponsored Classic.

Impendabelle headed south off the back of her victory in an incident-paced Gr.2 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) for rider Kozzi Asano, who again takes the reins.

“She ran out the 1400m well at Counties and is always relaxed in the run. I think the mile will be fine for her,” Pike said.

“She’s a lovely filly to do anything with, very laid back and that translates into her races. She hardly touches the bridle and it’s always nice to have one with a good temperament.”

Since her Soliloquy success, Impendabelle hasn’t missed a beat.

“She is in great form, I know there were a couple of hard luck stories at Counties in behind, but she probably didn’t have all favours either,” Pike said.

“She went to go out with Luberon and then got lost out in front by herself and then obviously drifted back to the rail.

“She won it and won it nicely and has trained on well and travelled super.

“It looks a good, deep field this year and probably half a-dozen winning chances.”

Another factor to give Impendabelle and edge is her handy barrier of six.

“I couldn’t be happier with her preparation and she has drawn the better gate of a lot of the favoured runners,” Pike said.

Should Impendabelle land a major result, the stable will have a strong chance of claiming a black-type double with Not Guilty a fancied contender in the Listed Lindauer Stewards’ Stakes (1200m).

The Not A Single Doubt mare is coming off an opening day success in the Listed Pegasus Stakes (1000m) with Lily Sutherland retaining the mount on the five-year-old.

“I think the 1200m will suit her better than the 1000m and she has come through the race in great order,” Pike said.

“She looks fantastic and is thriving down there. She has drawn another good gate and she should be hard to beat again.”

Matter Of Honour completes Pike’s representation when he attempts to turn his form around in the Avon City Ford Premier (1200m) following an unplaced run on the course last Saturday.

“He had a couple of excuses, but he was a bit plain to be fair. He got into a bit of a bumping duel and I thought he gave up a bit quickly,” he said.

“We’ll put the blinkers on him and he’s been to the beach a couple of days this week and I can’t fault his condition, so I definitely think he’ll run a much improve race on Saturday.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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