Injury forces Provocative’s retirement

Provocative showing her class when winning the Queensland Oaks. (Photo: Grant Peters).

Provocative showing her class when winning the Queensland Oaks. (Photo: Grant Peters).

Tony Pike’s Melbourne spring carnival hopes have suffered a blow with the forced retirement of his Group One winner Provocative.

The Cambridge trainer had high hopes for the Zabeel mare, who was being aimed at the Gr. 1 Caulfield Cup.

“Unfortunately, a scan has showed she’s got a little tear in her tendon and there’s a fair bit of rehabilitation involved so after discussions with the owners the decision has been made to send her to stud,” said Pike.

“She only had the eight starts and she did a super job and you could only think that she was going to get better. It’s a great shame, but these things happen and you have to plug on.”

A $250,000 yearling at Karaka, Provocative won four races for owners Robin Peel-Walker and Mark Wyborn with her victory in last season’s Gr. 1 Queensland Oaks the highlight of her brief career.

Pike’s Melbourne hopes will now rest with two other Group One winners in Sacred Elixir (J.J. Atkins Stakes) and Rangipo (New Zealand Derby).

“Sacred Elixir is going really well and he’ll run in the Guineas Prelude, which is only 1400 metres and well short of his best,” he said.

“As long as he is finishing off well, he will head on to the Caulfield Guineas and then the Vase before the VRC Derby.”

A decision on where Rangipo will open his carnival campaign will be made after he gallops tomorrow morning.

“He could go fresh-up into the Sir Rupert Clarke or we could wait a week for the Paris Lane,” said Pike.

“He’s doing well, but he needs to be because he’s going to be up against some very good horses.”

– NZ Racing Desk.