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Not Ideal impresses at Tauranga

The Tony Pike-trained Not Ideal indicated he has a promising future ahead of him after he maintained his winning ways at Tauranga.

The Nicconi three-year-old made a successful debut over 7 f at Hastings last month with his trainer keen on testing him against the best of his age group in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.

When the strength of that field was revealed Pike took an easier option by tackling the older horses over 1 m in rating 65 company at Tauranga, a move which proved successful as he sat outside the speed throughout before drawing clear in the run home to make it two wins from two starts.

Rider Michael McNab, who was having his first ride on the horse, was suitably impressed with the effort.

"He's shown good talent and is a lovely big horse with a bright future," he said.

"He jumped well and put himself there and travelled well.

"He was looking around a fair bit in the last 1 f, but he's a good big-actioned horse who is still learning his craft."

Pike stable representative Dean Williams was also pleased with the effort but believes the gelding still has a lot to learn,

"It pretty much worked out how we thought but he's still a bit green," he said.

"He was good through the line and it was good to get the job done.

"He's not that dissimilar to Surely Sacred at this time of the year, a bit green and still working the game out, but definitely with a bright future.

"He's handling the racing well and we definitely think he can get 1 1⁄4 m and then a touch further."

Not Ideal  is the third foal of Encosta De Lago mare, Champagne Crystal and hails from an extended family that includes Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner At Talaq.

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