Chintz to get Group One opportunity

Cambridge mare Chintz will get an opportunity to attempt to cap off her Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile win at Ellerslie with a Group One success at Trentham later this month.

Trainer and part-owner Tony Pike is to make the $1687.50 late payment to put Chintz in the field for the Gr. 1 $200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile on January 25.

Pike was waiting to see how Chintz came through her hard-fought win over Jubilate in the Rich Hill Mile on New Year’s Day before making a decision over whether to turn her out for a brief break or press ahead with the trip to Wellington.

“Tony is going to make the late payment for the Thorndon tomorrow,” said Pike’s mother, Vicki, who is also a part-owner and co-breeder of Chintz.

“Tony was thinking of giving her 10 days off then bringing her back for the Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha and the Easter (Handicap at Ellerslie), but while she is doing so well why not press on.

“She is thriving and of all the horses from the stable that raced on New Year’s Day she has come through it best. She’s just bounced through it. She’s so tough.”

Chintz scraped home by a half-head in the Rich Hill Mile and with an ounce of luck she could be unbeaten in her five starts this campaign. She won her first two outings back from a spell then was an unlucky fourth at Te Rapa and again unlucky not to win at Ellerslie on Boxing Day when beaten a half-head by Abidewithme.

The Wellington Cup Carnival is brewing up to be an exciting time for the Pike – Mark Donoghue stable with Waterford, runner-up behind Bounding in the Gr. 1 Sistema Railway Stakes, and More Than Sacred, among the other key runners from the team. Waterford will tackle the Gr. 1 J.R. & N. Berkett Telegraph Handicap and More Than Sacred will start in the Gr. 2 Platinum Homes Wellington Cup.