Pike duo on song for Wairoa Cup

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  • March 11, 2023
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With Hawke’s Bay ravaged by Cyclone Gabrielle, the decision has been made to abandon Wairoa’s meeting at Hastings on Sunday with the AFFCO NZ LTD Wairoa Cup (1900m) transferred to New Plymouth Raceway’s meeting on Friday.

Former Hawke’s Bay local Tony Pike will have two runners in the feature, including Rapid Falls and River Run.

Rapid Falls has enjoyed a freshen-up since finishing seventh in the Gr.3 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2400m), while Pike said River Run has taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run in the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) earlier this month where he finished seventh.

“Rapid Falls had a short freshen-up. She just had a little bit of an issue with her bloods heading into her last start so we elected to give her 10 days in the paddock,” Pike said.

“She has held a lot of residual fitness and it looks a nice race for her from gate one.

“If she can come through this safely hopefully we can get her through to an Auckland Cup (Gr.2, 3200m) or St Leger (Listed, 2500m).

“River Run is carrying lots of weight (60.5kg). He is a hard horse to place at the moment with his rating. Lily Sutherland will ride, claiming three kilos, and he will strip a lot fitter with that fresh-up run under his belt.”

Pike will head south fresh off recording a double at Te Rapa last Saturday courtesy of Whiskey Neat and Not Guilty, and he believes the latter is in for a bright future.

“They are two nice horses,” he said. “Whiskey Neat is back from Hong Kong and Not Guilty is going the right way. She is a lightly raced mare that should be able to get to stakes class at some stage.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, Pike will have just the one runner at Pukekohe, Dimaggio in the Gr.2 AJC Avondale Guineas (2100m).

“His last start run was good. He is still a work in progress, he wants to do a lot wrong in his races, but he will definitely run out the 2100m,” Pike said.

“I don’t think any of us are thinking that we can beat Sharp ‘N’ Smart in the Derby (Gr.1, 2400m), but if he did run well on Saturday then he may progress down that way.”

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