Eagle Farm closure hits NZ carnival raid

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May 9, 2018 - 01:06 PM

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Tony Pike is typical of New Zealand-based trainers who have cut back their winter carnival teams due to the closure of the Eagle Farm track.

Cambridge based Pike has had plenty of success in Brisbane with horses such as Group One winners Sacred Elixir (JJ Atkins) and Provocative (Queensland Oaks).

He will have only three horses in Brisbane this winter with Bostonian (Queensland Day Stakes) and Sacred Master (Members Handicap) to run at Doomben on Saturday.

Pike's other visitor Terra Sancta was an impressive winner at Ipswich on Monday.

Bostonian is the first horse Pike has trained for leading New Zealand owner-breeder David Archer.

The three-year-old is from the same family as multiple Group One-winning galloper King Mufhasa.

"I was debating about running him on Saturday first-up at 1350 metres but it fits in with his likely program of the Fred Best Classic and Queensland Guineas," Pike said.

Sacred Master has returned to Pike's stables after a stint in Sydney with Chris Waller.

"He has had injury problems but we hope to get him ready for the Brisbane Cup," Pike said.

He said the number of New Zealanders at the winter carnival had been impacted by the closure of Eagle Farm.

"A lot of New Zealand trainers like big tracks and Doomben doesn't suit their horses," Pike said.

"I think there are only two kiwi nominations for the Queensland Oaks. I think once Eagle Farm reopens you will see a lot more New Zealand horses coming again."