Bendigo debut for Giga’s Kick brother

Giga Kick might be a few months away from returning to the races, but his three-quarter-brother Pantoja will be in action at Bendigo on Wednesday.

The two-year-old Pariah gelding, who is also prepared by Giga Kick’s trainer Clayton Douglas, will debut in the Dunlop Pitson & Jenkins Civil 2YO Maiden (1100m) that kicks off the card.

Like Giga Kick, Pantoja is by a son of Redoute’s Choice out of Rekindled Applause and Rod Douglas, racing manager for owner/breeder Jonathan Munz, said while he is not expected to emulate his The Everest-winning brother, he has his share of talent.

“He’s nowhere near in Giga Kick’s league, but I think he’s going to be a nice horse that will probably have one run then a breather and hopefully measure up to better things as a three-year-old,” Douglas said.

Pantoja, who is named after UFC competitor Alexandre Pantoja, is Rekindled Applause’s 11th foal and her first following Giga Kick after she missed to Showtime in the 2019 breeding season.

He has drawn barrier seven in Wednesday’s 12-horse event, but will come into six if second emergency Fort Laramie does not gain a start, with Ben Allen to ride.

Pantoja has scored two narrow-but-soft jumpout wins this campaign, the first over 800m at Sandown on April 18 before a 750m success at Balnarring on May 8.

“He worked good here at Mornington on Saturday morning on the course proper, so they’ll know he’s there,” Douglas said.

“I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t run in the first three. He can certainly win if everything goes his way.”

Pantoja is not the only close relation to a multiple Group 1 winner making his debut at Bendigo with the Annabel Neasham-trained Hey Bro’unga, a brother to Mo’unga, to have his first start in the 1400m maiden that is the second event.

Douglas also provided an update on Giga Kick, who continues his slow rehabilitation from a serious hamstring injury that kept him out of the autumn.

“He’ll start and do some faster work, even time work, in the next few weeks and then we’ll look at how wet it is in Melbourne,” Douglas said of the Scissor Kick gelding.

“We might head him interstate and do some work with him there and get him up and trialling, I’d say, in about six or seven weeks.

“We might give him a couple of trials, make sure he’s right, then give him a breather and have him back ready to go early in the spring.”

About RS NewsWire

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