Kiwi trainer Tony Pike is hoping his luck will change for the better when he heads to the Sunshine Coast this weekend after the Sacred Star fiasco.
Pike went to the races at Doomben last Saturday full of confidence with Sacred Star who was one of the top fancies in the Group 1 $500,000 UBET BTC Cup (1200m).
But his hopes were dashed when Sacred Star presented with a bruised heel and had to be scratched from the Group 1 sprint.
Pike had reported that the Flying Spur five year old had recovered and worked well during the week but then the Cambridge trainer missed paying up on Wednesday for the first acceptances for the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 23.
Connections will now have to pay a late entry fee of $22,500 for Sacred Star to join the other twenty-two first acceptors for the feature weight for age sprint.
“It was my balls-up, so I will pay the difference between that and the acceptance fees, which I think works out to be around $15,000,” Pike told The Courier-Mail.
“I just hope I win a decent race over the next few weeks to pay for it.
“It’s just been beautiful this week. You would hope it can only get better from here. If I can get one to the races it would be a start.”
Pike has two chances at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday to start to redeem his losses with three year old Huka Eagle going around in the $65,000 BOQ Mooloolaba QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1000m) and Allez Eagle lining up in the Listed $175,000 HMR Projects Pty Ltd Glasshouse Handicap (1300m).
“Both of them look well placed,” Pike said.
“Huka Eagle is way down in grade and has settled in a lot better now. He won’t race as fiercely this time and should be hard to beat.
“Allez Eagle is a pretty serious horse on his day and is drawn perfectly.”
Huka Eagle is dropping back in class after running eleventh to Nostradamus in the Group 3 $125,000 Attwood Marshall Lawyers Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25.
But if he runs up to his previous start when third in the Group 1 NZ$240,000 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in New Zealand on January 17, he will be very hard to beat.
In a very open race at Ladbrokes.com.au, Huka Eagle shares the second line of betting with Beau Jet at $7 just behind the $6 favourite She’s Miss Devine.
Allez Eagle is also well up in the market order for the Glasshouse Handicap and is marked as the $6 second favourite behind Sunshine Coast trained three year old Time For War.
Allez Eagle was a winner at Te Aroha two starts back in a 1400m Open Handicap and then performed creditably when fourth in the Group 1 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18.