Exciting Pike-Donoghue stablemates thriving

The news just keeps getting better for Cambridge trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue.

Their stable lined up the two most impressive winners at Ruakaka yesterday, Doubtless in the juvenile event and Sacred Falls in the day’s feature, the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes. Both wins came as no surprise to both the trainers and the betting public with the two horses being well-faced.

Doubtless started second favourite in the Cowley’s Party Hire 880 on the strength of an easy trials win at Avondale and left his rivals struggling in his wake as he raced away to a five and a half-length win in the hands of Leith Innes.

Innes was also aboard stablemate Sacred Falls, who stretched his unbeaten record to three when as favourite he proved too strong for Southern Lord and his other rivals, scoring by a length.

Donoghue was expecting big efforts from both horses, but what has pleased him even more is how well they have come through their races and trip to Ruakaka.

“Doubtless is having 10 days out in the paddock and seeing him this morning in his paddock you wouldn’t know he had raced,” said Donoghue. “He’s pretty chilled out. And Sacred Falls has come through his race so well, too. He’s also a pretty relaxed horse and he only does what he has to do.”

Doubtless is raced by Pike in partnership with his parents, Wayne and Vicki, and the trio also bred the son of Not A Single Doubt and  Miss Elusive.

“He’s pretty smart all right,” said Donoghue. “But he’s just one of the boys around the stable. He’s a no-fuss type and he’s just kept stepping up all the way through. He’ll probably go to the Wellesley Stakes next.”

Sacred Fall’s next mission is the Group II $85,000 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings on October 6. “He needed to have this race to be ready for the Hastings,” said Donoghue. “He’s nominated for the 2000 Guineas and will also be nominated for the Levin Classic.”

Meanwhile Donoghue and Pike will be hoping to keep their winning streak going with Waterford in the Group III Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings next Saturday.

“Though there’s still improvement in her, she’s forward to resume,” said Donoghue. “She’s quite exciting.”

The Pike — Donoghue stable has established an excellent strike rate of one winner in every three starts so far this season, with five wins from 15 starts.