Cambridge trainer Tony Pike took six runners south to Hastings on Thursday and was rewarded when taking out half of the eight race card.
“It was a really good day, we thought we had some nice chances and it’s great when it all converts,” Pike said.
“I think I won four races a while ago at Te Teko, but it’s been a while since we got four.”
The standout performance of the day was by the Raffles Racing-owned Sacred Day, who showed a breath-taking turn of speed to win the Waimea Nursersies (1400m) by five and a half lengths.
“We have always had a high opinion of the horse, he’s just taken a bit of time to mature,” Pike said.
“He’s a horse we have always held in high regard and hopefully he can go around in some of the nice staying three-year-old races later on in the autumn.”
After his victory, Sacred Day shortened into fifth-equal favourite for the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 3, but Pike said it may be too soon for the Azamour gelding with a trip to Sydney a more realistic target.
“It’s probably too tight to get him there, we are running out of time for the New Zealand Derby,” he said. “But if we can get a couple more wins on the board we may look at Sydney with him.”
Sacred Day was purchased by Raffles Racing out of Brighthill Farm’s 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft for $90,000 and was an outstanding athletic type according to Pike.
“It was quite a bit of money for an Azamour colt at that point in time in K2,” he said. “He was a lovely type and we bought him really on type more than anything else. He was just a lovely athletic horse as a yearling.”
Meanwhile, another Pike runner that could be set for a big future is Iffraaj three-year-old filly Parvina. She won on debut by three and three quarters of a length in the Orora Kiwi Packaging 3YO (1300m).
“She trialled up nicely,” he said. “Her first two trials she was probably a little bit green, but her last two trials have been good and the race worked out perfectly.
“She relaxed behind a hot speed and she picked them up and won really well, so she looks like a nice progressive staying filly in the making.
“We’ll probably sit down and look for either a 1400m or a mile race that suits sometime within the next three weeks, we’ll just see how she pulls up.
“She’s possibly running out of time for the New Zealand Oaks, but we’ll just play it by ear after her next start.” – NZ Racing Desk