IN Racing
Queensland targets in the offing for Rudyard
A Queensland winter campaign could be instore for promising juvenile Rudyard.
NZ Racing Desk | March 03, 2022
Rudyard. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

A Queensland winter campaign could be instore for promising juvenile Rudyard after his impressive debut victory in the MacMillan Accountants 2YO (1215m) at Arawa Park on Thursday.

The Tony Pike-trained gelding jumped away fairly to settle at the rear of the field for jockey Michael McNab.

The Waikato hoop sat patiently on his charge before producing him down the straight where he ran away to a three-quarter of a length victory over Marvelouz, with a further 2-1/4 lengths back to Royalz in third.

“It was a good win on debut. He is a horse we have always had plenty of time for,” Tony Pike said.

“We were hoping to get him to the Karaka Million but he went shin sore the preparation before. We have just looked after him and he is still a work in progress. 

“He was a little bit slow out today, but it was a good effort for a two-year-old to sit back last at Rotorua and pick them up quite easily.

“He is definitely a progressive horse with a promising future.”

The son of Charm Spirit will likely have one more run before his trainer decides whether to head across the Tasman with him.

“There is a possibility that he could be a Queensland horse,” Pike said. 

“We will just give him one more run here in three weeks time and assess whether we take him over there after having a short break.”

Pike purchased the gelding out of Windsor Park Stud’s New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft last year for $280,000 as part of his colts syndicate.

“He has got a nice, deep pedigree and he was a lovely yearling as well. When you pay that sort of money it is nice to see them have some ability,” Pike said.

“We have got another really nice group of two-year-olds this year (as part of the colts syndicate) and we have just been patient with a lot of them.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get one to the Karaka Million but there is plenty of ammunition instore for the tail end of their two-year-old season and into their three-year-old season.”

Meanwhile, Pike is looking forward to Saturday with fellow colts syndicate purchase Tutukaka who will contest the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m).

“I have been really happy with his work this week,” Pike said. 

“It is an awkward gate (11) again, but there doesn’t seem to be much speed in the race and we will probably put him in the race on Saturday. 

“I think it was a bit of a negative ride last start and he just got too far back in a slowly run race.

“If he turns up in his best form then he is going to be a strong winning chance.”

Rudyard Arawa Park Michael McNab Marvelouz Royalz Charm Spirit Windsor Park Stud New Zealand Bloodstock Tutukaka Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby Tony Pike