Pike’s step toward Karaka Million

Felton Road (Leith Innes) proving he is on track for the Karaka Million with a strong debut win today.

Felton Road (blinkers; Leith Innes) proving he is on track for the Karaka Million with a strong debut win today.

Tony Pike will bide his time about a decision on another start for his Karaka Million-bound youngster Felton Road.

The Cambridge trainer produced the two-year-old to win the Timeout 1200 at Ellerslie today and when making his debut the colt banked $5900 to sneak into the top 20 in order of entry for the country’s richest juvenile event.

“We rolled the dice here with the Karaka Million coming around quickly and we weren’t sure whether he could win from a wide gate,” said Pike.

“We’ll see how he pulls up and then have a look at the order to see if he needs to run again. There are a few options around.”

Felton Road, who had three trials before making his debut, was forced to cover extra ground from his awkward gate and he finished determinedly in the run home to beat Bombard and Padraig.

“We had that bad draw and it wasn’t a pretty ride, but to the horse’s credit he kept finding for me,” said rider Leith Innes.

A son of Pins, Felton Road is raced by Frontier Bloodstock and is from the O’Reilly mare Rose Red.

Fast And Furious (Leith Innes) showing a touch of class at Ellerslie today.

Fast And Furious (Leith Innes) showing a touch of class at Ellerslie today.

Pike hardly had time to celebrate Felton Road’s win than he was back in the winner’s enclosure after the following event, the Canvas Magazine 1200, with Fast And Furious, who was bred by Gerry Harvey and is raced by the Redcraze Racing No.1 Syndicate.

With Innes again aboard, Fast And Furious got home by a length and a quarter from the Lauren Brenan-trained Lasting Friendship and he did it in style.

After being checked early and settling seventh in the early stages, he was pushed through a narrow gap on the fence by Innes with 200 metres to run and strode clear to win in the manner of a horse going places.

“He’s a real genuine colt,” said Pike. “It was a good effort first-up to push through a gap like that.”

Fast And Furious came in for strong support on debut on the strength of some good recent trials form, which included wins at Cambridge (800m) and Te Aroha (1000m).

“He’s a really good colt and he showed that at the trials,” said Pike.

“He’s more of a sprinter-miler and we’re probably running out of options until the autumn, but we’ll see if there’s a three-year-old race for him somewhere.”

– NZ Racing Desk.