Punters who have taken the $6.50 about unraced juvenile Khufu in next month’s $1m Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) can breathe a little easier after the son of American Pharoah looked all class when winning an 800m trial at Cambridge on Tuesday.
The Tony Pike-trained colt has long impressed trial-watchers but will make a belated bid for Karaka Million glory after a hamstring tweak has pushed back his raceday debut.
Jumping straight to the front in Tuesday’s trial on the polytrack, Khufu cruised to the line under jockey Michael McNab, 8-¾ lengths to the good of his nearest rival and clearly the quickest of the half dozen 800m heats.
“We will just see how things go over the next couple of days, but there are probably four options with him,” Pike said.
“He could go to the Eclipse Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m) or he could kick off at Taranaki, Te Aroha or just have the one run and hope he wins it at Ellerslie a fortnight out from the Karaka Million.
“That little hiccup there for a couple of weeks put us on the backfoot timewise but that trial will clean him up nicely.
“He was pretty professional today. He jumped a lot cleaner than he normally has, travelled well and it was encouraging.
“The aim is to get him to the Karaka Million, but he is a very talented horse as well and I don’t want to destroy him just to get him there for the sake of one race. He will tell us in the next few days whether or not we’re going to get there.”
Bred by Nearco Stud, Khufu was sold through Curraghmore's 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock draft for $150,000. -NZ Racing Desk