Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is aiming to secure a spot in the A$14 million The Everest (1200m) on Saturday when his quality sprinter The Bostonian contests the Gr.2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.
The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) will run the Schillaci Stakes as the last race on a 10-event card on Saturday with the winner receiving a golden ticket to The Everest the following week.
The MRC will give winning connections until midday on Sunday to decide whether they want to take up their spot in The Everest. If not, the opportunity will pass to the second place-getter, with the connections of race rival Booker already ruling out a tilt at The Everest should she be successful.
The Bostonian, who was born and raised at Trelawney Stud, had a wide run from an outside barrier in the Gr.1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley, finishing ninth, just over two lengths from the winner Nature Strip and the dual Group One winner has pleased Pike since.
“I am really happy with him,” he said. “Damian Lane (jockey) galloped him on the course proper at Flemington on Tuesday and said he had taken no harm from his fresh-up run.
“The field has probably dropped away a touch, it is definitely not as strong as the Moir was.
“He has come up with a good gate this time, with gate three, which is going to be a huge advantage.
“He got posted three-wide in the Moir, but kept closing and only just got beaten by two lengths.
“He is right in this race on Saturday, he will give it a big shake.
“With The Everest slot up for grabs for the winner of that race, it is going to be a very interesting day and there will be a lot of organising if we are lucky enough to win on Saturday afternoon.”
Meanwhile, Pike put the Trelawney Stud bred and co-owned Loire through her paces in an exhibition gallop at Taupo on Wednesday.
He is now plotting a path with her towards next month’s Gr.1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.
“Loire will go to Ellerslie for the Soliloquy (Gr.3, 1400m)," Pike said. "I was really happy with her (exhibition) gallop." -NZ Racing Desk