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Pike gearing up for Karaka assault

Not An Option wins the Gr.2 Wakefield Stakes (1100m) at Trentham Photo credit: Race Images
Not An Option wins the Gr.2 Wakefield Stakes (1100m) at Trentham Photo credit: Race Images

As he puts the finishing touches on star juvenile Not An Option’s bid for the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie later this month, Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is already well into the operational requirements for the second phase of his Colts Syndicate initiative that he successfully launched in 2019.

Pike put together a war chest from a group of investors to target a handful of well-bred colts during the National Yearling Sale at Karaka last year in the hopes of developing a future stallion prospect from their racetrack achievements. He finished up buying six yearlings with the Curraghmore consigned Not An Option emerging as the leader of the pack to date courtesy of his stunning victory in the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham last month.

That result saw Cambridge Stud proprietors Brendan and Jo Lindsay purchase a controlling interest in the Not A Single Doubt youngster for future stud duties and vindicate Pike’s original project decision.

Such has been the demand, Pike will target Karaka again in 2020 for the second edition of the programme while he has also taken the plunge to expand the scheme into Australia this year. 

Not An Option as a yearling. Photo: Trish Dunell
Not An Option as a yearling. Photo: Trish Dunell

“We’ve had terrific feedback from our first Colts syndicate and the original investors are keen to go again so we will be back at Karaka this year to look for another half a dozen yearlings,” Pike said.

Pike is pleased with how Not An Option has trained on following his defeat to fellow Karaka Million 2YO contender Play That Song at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) but will wait until he has met with the Lindsays and Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre before confirming a start in the juvenile feature on January 25.

“Brendan and Henry have been at the Gold Coast for the last week so I haven’t really had a chance to catch up with them,” Pike said.

“We’ll get together this week to discuss the plans for Not An Option and a start at Ellerslie.

“He has come on nicely since New Year’s Day and has pleased me with his work so he will be ready to go if we push the button.” -NZ Racing Desk


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