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Champagne Stakes an Option for classy juvenile

Not An Option could be set for a tilt at the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes (1600m). Photo: Trish Dunell
Not An Option could be set for a tilt at the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes (1600m). Photo: Trish Dunell

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike was pleased with the efforts of classy juvenile Not An Option after he ran on late to finish third in the Gr.3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.

“I was rapt with the run and 1100m is well short of his best,” Pike said. “It was always going to be a touch sharp for him from that draw (7). We had to go back to last and he has closed well outside.

“It looked like a very testing track over there today, so it’s very encouraging going forward.

“He is going to improve a lot with that run under his belt.”

Not An Option has a number of high-profile owners including Cambridge Stud Principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Haunui Farm, and Raffles Racing, and Pike is set to call them over the coming days to discuss Not An Option’s next target.

Pike is leaning towards a tilt at the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in a fortnight, believing the mile distance will be ideal for the son of Not A Single Doubt.

“I will give the owners a call and talk with Richard (Freedman, caretaker trainer) and see how the horse has pulled up.

“As long as he pulls up well and he hasn’t taken too much harm from this run we might run him in the Champagne Stakes in two weeks. It looks like a nice race at the end of the carnival.

“I have always thought 1400m and a mile is going to be perfect for him.

“Sometimes those two-year-olds in Sydney, especially on those wet tracks, are starting to get tried by that stage. It could be the perfect option for him.”

Pike purchased Not An Option out of Curraghmore’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $240,000 and the colt has gone on to win two of his four starts in New Zealand, including the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m), and was runner-up behind Play That Song in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m). -NZ Racing Desk


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