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Pike aiming to scoop Carnival pool

Rangipo

Rangipo (Image: Trish Dunell)

Trainer Tony Pike is plotting a triple Group 1 dip into the central districts early next season.

He has his sights set on the Hawke’s Bay Carnival with his New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo, who is likely to be supported by a number of younger stablemates.

“We’ll be entering Rangipo for all three of the Group 1s at Hastings,” Pike said.

“He’s starting to breeze up now and hopefully he will come up quickly enough and at this stage I am very happy with him.

“As long as he progresses well, he’ll be going for the first two and ideally all three.”

Rangipo won three times at Group 2 level before he beat What’s The Story and the Pike-trained Raghu in the Derby, but was then unplaced in his Australian debut at Doomben.

He was put aside until last spring and was again turned out after twice finishing out of the money in Melbourne.

Rangipo returned in much improved form in the autumn for a first-up third in the G3 Darley Plate and finished sixth in the G2 Japan/New Zealand International Trophy.

“We’ve had a few issues with him, but he seems to be coming back to it nicely now,” Pike said.

“We’ll give him a couple of jumpouts and probably a barrier trial before Hawke’s Bay.”

The stable is blessed with a number of smart rising three-year-old prospects, among them the unbeaten pair of Bostonian and Sacred Rebel, Haussmann, Aim Smart, Felton Road and Ujjayyi.

“Depending how quickly they come up, they will be targeted toward Hastings,” Pike said.

“We’ve got a number of nice types and while it would be great to split them up, there is a set pattern on the way to the better races.

“We might look at sending a couple down south early, depending on the track conditions.”

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