Provocative likely to bypass Grand Prix Stakes

Kiwi trainer Tony Pike is considering bypassing Saturday’s Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben with his staying filly Provocative and instead head to a midweek race next week.

The Chris Waller trained Mackintosh will be hard to beat in the Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

The Chris Waller trained Mackintosh will be hard to beat in the Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Provocative shot up the Queensland Oaks market order and is on the second line of betting at $8 with Ladbrokes.com.au after scoring an impressive two and a quarter lengths win in a 2190m three year old Handicap at Ipswich on May 18.

The Bjorn Baker trained filly Imposing Lass heads the market order at $7.

Provocative is one of nineteen three year olds nominated for the Grand Prix Stakes and she would have to finish in the major end of the prizemoney to be any chance of making the final field for the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.

Pike was very impressed with Mackintosh who made it a one act affair with his two and three quarter lengths win in the Group 3 $125,000 Mitty’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 14 and can see the Chris Waller trained gelding being very hard to beat again this week in the Grand Prix Stakes.

And if Pike was to run Provocative in the Grand Prix Stakes on Saturday, he would then have to back the filly up the following week if he was to run her in the Queensland Oaks.

The Cambridge trainer’s other option is to go to Doomben next Wednesday and hope to pick up the winning cheque of $32,000 in the QTIS Added Stakes over 2200m for the three year olds and then have enough prizemoney to gain a place in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.

“It doesn’t look like she is going to get into the Oaks with her prizemoney and I’m not sure about running her on Saturday,’’ Pike told The Courier-Mail.

“Going to that race at Doomben next Wednesday and then on to the Derby probably looks the most likely plan.’’

Provocative is a winner of three races from six race starts and her prizemoney earnings of $31,078 sees her as number fifty-two in the order of entry for the Queensland Oaks.

Racing Queensland chief handicapper Nathan Bourke suggested that that might not be enough prizemoney to get her into the Queensland Oaks field as he considers this year to be a strong year for the fillies.

“There are a lot more well-credentialed fillies around this year than some other years,” Bourke said.

“Some years there have been fillies getting a run in the Oaks with as little as $20,000 prizemoney.”

In Queensland Derby betting, Provocative is listed as a $15 chance with Mackintoch at the top of the market order at $2.80 ahead of local chance Cylinder Beach and South Australian Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name at $8.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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