Pike’s new recruit is smart

Rangipo (Vinnie Colgan) clearing maiden ranks impressively at Taupo. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Rangipo (Vinnie Colgan) clearing maiden ranks impressively at Taupo. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

The biggest surprise for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike after the maiden win of new recruit Rangipo at Taupo last Friday was the dividend.

Having his first start from Pike’s stable, Rangipo raced away with the Erickson Whanau 1000 at the odds of 8/1. In the hands of Vinnie Colgan, he scored by three and three-quarter lengths from fellow Cambridge galloper, the Chris Wood-trained Honkietonk Tiger.

“I’ve only had him six weeks and on his trial at Cambridge (September 10) I thought he’d be hard to beat,” said Pike. “That day Vinnie never let his head go and he won by a couple of lengths. He’s a pretty smart horse.”

Colgan was equally impressed by the trials win and expected a bold showing last Friday. “He trialled up really good. I like him,” said Colgan.

Colgan bounced Rangipo out well and had him trailing third before taking him up to the leaders on the home turn. Rangipo took command at the 200 and drew away impressively.

Sacred Desire, Pike’s other runner in the race, started favourite on the strength of encouraging raceday form, but was trapped wide and was doing his best work over the final stages to finish sixth, six lengths behind his stablemate.

An Australian-bred three-year-old son of Stryker, Rangipo was originally trainer by Doug Cave at Te Awamutu and picked up a trials second before having two raceday outings. He beat two home on debut then after a spell he finished fifth at Otaki last June.

Being from a daughter of Zabeel, Rangipo has the stamina in his pedigree to suggest he will excel when stepped up in distance.

His dam, Holloway, who was bred by Rangipo’s owners, John and Margaret Thompson, is a half-sister to Penitentiary and Maze, two top-class performers.

Penitentiary, raced by the Thompsons, won eight races including the Listed Geelong Classic and included Group One thirds in the 2006 Thorndon Mile and Otaki-Maori Weight-For-Age in his placings, while Maze won the Gr. 2 Awapuni Gold Cup and was Group One placed and second in the Gr. 2 O’Shea Stakes in Brisbane.

Rangipo’s win was the second of four on the day for Cambridge stables. Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman started the ball rolling with Scamp in the first event, the Carters Taupo 1300, and Ralph Manning picked up a double with Dubaiinstyle and Tornado Alley.

Scamp and Opie Bosson winning the first at Taupo. (Photo: Kenton Wright).

Scamp and Opie Bosson winning the first at Taupo. (Photo: Kenton Wright).

Scamp, a four-year-old son of Just Curious, cleared out to score by a length and a quarter, impressing rider Opie Bosson. It was his fourth start and second win and followed a fresh-up sixth at Matamata last month.

“It was too wet first-up for him,” said Baker. “He’s a promising horse who has just needed plenty of time.”

Scamp is raced by his breeder, Brian Henderson, who has been a long-time client of the stable.

“I’ve trained some good horses for him,” said Baker. “Tusker, a Group Two winner, was probably the best. I also trained this one’s mother, Just Curious, early on. She won her second start for me and went over to Lee Freedman in Melbourne and won six in Aussie.”