NEWS PREVIEW

Pike has dominant hand in HB Guineas

The Cambridge trainer will head to Hastings with four strong chances in the 7 f three-year-old feature, named after the Waikato Stud stallion and four-time Group One winner who was unbeaten in six starts for Pike.

Sacred Falls won the Hawke's Bay Guineas in 2012 and two starts later won the Gr.1 2000 Guineas at Riccarton before heading to Sydney to continue his career with Chris Waller.
Whether he has another Sacred Falls among his Guineas team on Saturday is yet to be seen, but between Haussman, Aim Smart, Bostonian and Felton Road, Pike believes he is producing his strongest assault on a feature race yet.

"We've gone into good races with one or two really strong chances before but never with this many," Pike said.
"The market suggests we've got a big hand to play but it's never that simple. The bookmakers have our team as the first four favourites, let's hope they've got it right. They are all in good form and we're happy with all of them.
"We've got good depth in our three-year-olds, though we're lucky they were all winners last season as two-year-olds because I'd say there are a few promising ones coming through that just haven't had the racing yet with the wet tracks."
TAB bookmakers have installed Aim Smart as the $3 favourite ahead of Haussman and Felton Road at with the unbeaten Bostonian at
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained I Got You is on the next line of betting at $9.50.
Aim Smart and Felton Road finished second and third behind the smart filly Prom Queen on her home track in the Gr.3 Northland Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka last start, hitting the line strongly on a track that rewarded those with the tactical speed to race on the pace.
"It was hard to make up ground that day at Ruakaka. Felton Road settled back and it was always going to be hard for him with the leader's bias," Pike said.
"Aim Smart was in the same boat but they were both doing their best work late. It was a really encouraging return from Aim Smart and he'll strip a fit horse for Saturday. Vinnie [Colgan,jockey] will be positive out of the gates and he should be really competitive.
"The step up to 7 f is ideal for Felton Road. His wide gate is a disadvantage but his racing pattern is to get back and with an even tempo, he'll be a good chance in the race."
A genuine tempo in the Guineas is on Pike's wishlist, with Haussman another one likely to be attacking the line late after a brilliant fresh-up win at Hastings a fortnight ago.
"His sectionals that day were very good,” Pike said.“His best form has been on rain-affected tracks but he's got a nice action to suggest he'll handle better going."
Innes, who rode Haussman, Bostonian and Felton Road at their last starts, will continue his association with Karaka Million-placed Felton Road, while Jason Waddell with ride Haussman and Mark Du Plessis has picked up the mount on Bostonian.
"Saturday will tell us a lot of the story on what they do from here," Pike said.
"Felton Road is qualified for the Karaka Million three-year-old race and the Derby is a real focus with Haussman, so we could yet bypass Riccarton in favour of a short break into the Levin Classic and Guineas races with him.
"At this stage Aim Smart and Bostonian are all go for the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton."
Another who could yet join them is Sacred Rebel, who contests a Rating 65 race on the Hastings undercard.

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