Trainer Tony Pike is confident smart two-year-old Not An Option will be hard to beat in Saturday’s $1 million Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie.
The attractive colt by Not A Single Doubt has won two of his three starts to date, including the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m).
Despite having his colours lowered by Play That Song in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie earlier this month, Pike believes Not An Option can turn the tables on Saturday.
The Cambridge horseman gave the precocious galloper another look around Ellerslie when galloping on the premier Auckland course on Monday and it is all systems go for Not An Option, who races in the colours of Cambridge Stud’s Brendon and Jo Lindsay, who are the principal owners of the well bred colt in conjunction with a number of other prominent owners.
“His work on Monday was good,” Pike said. “He got up against the rail and Leith (Innes, jockey) was really pleased with how he handled the tight turn with the rail out.
“We are pretty happy going forward especially as the horse he worked with, Merlini, is a pretty sharp sort of sprinter. He finished his work off nicely and pulled up well so we are pleased going into Saturday.
“I think he just got a bit lost around the turn at his first go at Ellerslie. That experience and the gallop there on Monday should result in him being a lot more professional on Saturday.”
Pike was out on the beat inspecting the next batch of prospective stars at the New Zealand Bloodstock sales complex at Karaka and said a win in the Karaka Million would be a great boost heading into the National Yearling Sales, which commence on Sunday.
“It would be lovely for Brendan and Jo to win it at sale time. Personally it is a big time of year with syndications and buying yearlings. To be out in the public eye and to win a race like that would be fantastic.
A $240,000 purchase out of Curraghmore’s draft, Not An Option was bred by Aquis Farm. - NZ Racing Desk