Trainer makes the most of his second Cup chance

Racing Desk
16 March 2017

Second chances don’t come along very often and Tony Pike turned his into a Group One victory with Chenille at Ellerslie on Thursday.

The Cambridge trainer was on the verge of scratching the Pentire mare from the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup on Saturday before rain forced the rescheduling of the event and gave him a shot at take two.

Chenille Photo: Trish Dunell

It was an emotional win for Pike, who shares in the ownership syndicate as does his father Wayne, who is battling ill health at present, and his mother Vicki.

“I’m just glad we got a second chance and the track came back,” he said. “It’s a huge buzz for my parents.

“Leith (Innes) rode her perfectly and he got her to drop her head down the back and she was bolting on the corner.”

Chenille improved from midfield with 600 metres to run and she came widest into the straight to hit the lead early in the run home.

“She looked a good thing on the turn,” said Pike, who prepared Rock Diva to win the Cup in 2015. “She probably got to the front too soon, but she’s a very good staying mare.”

Chenille held a strong gallop over the closing 300 metres to defeat El Pistola and Jacksstar with Megablast the next runner home.

“She’s entered in the Sydney Cup, but whether we head that way or not we’ll wait and see,” Pike said.

For Innes, it was the 28th Group One win of his career and his first in the Cup.

“I had so much faith in this mare, she’s a class horse,” the 38-year-old said. - NZ Racing Desk.

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