Cambridge visitor Not An Option showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the juvenile features this season when he produced a powerful finishing burst to take out the Gr.2 Platinum Homes Taranaki Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham.
The regally bred Not A Single Doubt colt is from multiple stakes winning mare Chintz and turned plenty of heads when he made a winning debut at Pukekohe back in September when successful over 800m.
Patiently handled by trainer Tony Pike, Not An Option showed he was ready for his racetrack return on Saturday when he tuned up with a comfortable trial victory on his home turf in late November.
Rider Leith Innes made good use of the colt’s barrier speed to settle in behind race favourite Unition, who had crossed from his wide barrier to dispute the early pace with the free-going Power ‘n’ Glory.
Not An Option tracked Unition into the home straight but conceded a length advantage to his rival as he lost his bearings slightly across the famous Trentham junction.
Innes got to work in the closing stages as Not An Option knuckled down to his task and rushed past Power ‘n’ Glory and Unition in the final 100m to make it two wins on end and cement his place in the field for the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie next month.
“He’s never put a foot wrong this horse,” stable representative Chris McNab said.
“He just ticks every box you put in front of him and he was just too good.
“With his trial, he just relaxed so beautifully and he did the same today.
“They didn’t go that hard early and he was running around a little bit, but he was just so good over the last 200m.”
McNab advised the colt would now be freshened before Pike finalises his path to the Karaka Million 2YO on January 25.
“He will probably have one run at Ellerslie between times but it is the Karaka Million for him for sure,” he said.
Innes admitted he had been confident in the run home that he would pick up the two leaders in front of him.
“He trialled up really good last week,” he said.
“The leader had a good break on us but I was always confident, just knowing the horse, so it was a good win.”
Not An Option was bred by Aquis Farm. Curraghmore and Hallmark Stud's Mark Baker secured an interest in the colt to bring him to New Zealand to offer him at the yearling sales at Karaka.
Purchased by Pike from the Curraghmore draft during the Book 1 session at the National Yearling Sale back in January, Not An Option now sits at the top of the Karaka Million 2YO qualifying ladder for his large group of owners that include well-known local breeding operations Waikato Stud and Haunui Farm along with Raffles Racing. – NZ Racing Desk