Ever Loyal finally resuming

Ever Loyal (Jason Waddell), pictured returning to scale after winning the Listed Zacinto Stakes, is set to finally resume at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Cambridge galloper Ever Loyal is set to make a long-awaited return to racing back at the Karaka Million racemeeting at Ellerslie on Saturday.

It was at the corresponding meeting 12 months ago that the son of Sebring last raced when finishing fifth in last year’s Karaka Million 3YO before being sidelined with tendon strain.

A Listed winner who was third behind Embellish in the 2017 Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, Ever Loyal reappeared with a fourth at the recent Cambridge trials and was part of trainer Tony Pike’s contingent who galloped at Ellerslie on Monday morning.

Ridden by Michael McNab, Ever Loyal worked with Pike’s Karaka Million 3YO candidate Surely Sacred and the pair recorded the quickest last 600m (34.62) of the morning.

‘’He’s been in work for a long time and we’ve gradually brought him up,’’ Pike said.

“He was high-class as a three-year-old, but struggled a bit at 1600m. He’s coming up really well and he’ll be kept at 1200m to 1400m for now.”

Ever Loyal will contest Saturday’s Gr.3 [email protected] Farm Concorde Handicap (1200m), for which stablemate Indecision will also be nominated along with the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m).

‘’I’ll wait and see what weight she gets in the Concorde, but she will probably be better off in the Westbury Classic,’’ Pike said.

‘’She’s a lot stronger now and finishing her races off better so should handle the 1400m.’’

Indecision worked with Pike’s Karaka Million 2YO candidate Whiskey Neat at Ellerslie on Monday morning, while stablemate Cyber Attack furthered his preparation for the Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m) when working with impressive debut winner Vigor Winner, from Lauren Brennan’s stable.

The stakeswinner Cyber Attack hasn’t raced since finishing unplaced in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings last October, but finished second in a recent Cambridge trial, splitting Pop Star Princess and Hiflyer.

“He trialled up nicely at Cambridge and goes into Saturday fresh-up,” Pike said. “He goes well fresh.”

Pike is also considering starting the unlucky Sacred Day at Ellerslie on Saturday in the Collinsonforex Karaka Cup (2200m).

Sacred Day won at Ellerslie last month, but has been desperately unlucky in his last two starts, finishing eighth over 1600m at Ellerslie then flashing home late for fourth over the same trip at Tauranga.

“He’s had no luck,” Pike said. ‘’I’ll chuck a nom in for the Stayers Cup and it’s a 50/50 chance he’ll run.”