A solid work-out on Saturday morning by Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) candidate Bostonian has trainer Tony Pike confident his stable star is at his peak for his biggest challenge.
The Jimmy Choux four-year-old hasn’t been seen since he opened his summer campaign with a comfortable victory in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) at Pukekohe last month.
Pike believes his charge performs best with his runs spaced and is ready to go the race of his life at Ellerslie on New Year’s day.
“He had his final gallop on Saturday morning and worked extremely well,” Pike said.
“He’s a horse that goes best when on the fresh side so we have deliberately just kept him ticking over since that Pukekohe run.
“He’s had a gallop between races at Te Rapa plus we took him up to Ellerslie for a gallop there so his fitness is good.
“Luck has fallen in our favour with a good barrier draw while his main opponents have all drawn wide.
“I would hope he can find a sit somewhere in the first five or six with plenty of speed on, then it will be up to him at the business end.”
Pike is also pleased with speedy mare Indecision who will back-up in the Railway after a comprehensive victory in the Listed Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m) on Boxing Day.
“She’s mainly been in the pool since that Ellerslie win although she had some light work on Saturday,” he said.
“She is in-form and deserves a shot at a race like this, especially with a light weight and decent draw.
“It would be wonderful for her owners if she could get some Group One black-type so that is what we will be trying to do.”
Pike has a large team entered at Ellerslie with some notable contenders in feature races including exciting juvenile Whiskey Neat who will tackle the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes (1200m).
“We scratched Whiskey Neat on Boxing Day due to the heavy track but he hasn’t missed a beat and will appreciate the better track he is likely to strike,” Pike said.
“I guess when they win by ten lengths on debut you start to question how good the opposition was but I think he could be something special.
“His work has been first class and I can’t fault him going into the race.
“It looks like a very good field on paper but I think he is up to them.”
Pike also believes promising three-year-old Surely Sacred is a definite winning prospect in the Gr.2 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas (1600m) while Terra Sancta could surprise in the Gr.3 Pencarrow Stud City Of Auckland Cup (2400m).
“Surely Sacred has improved since his runner-up finish in the Bonecrusher Stakes and I expect him to go close on Tuesday,” he said.
“It was his first run at Ellerslie the other day and he got a bit lost in the home straight. He finished it off nicely and I think with that experience under his belt he is capable of going one better.
“Terra Sancta will definitely appreciate an improved track. We have made a small gear change and she galloped superbly during the week.
“The field in the Cup has dropped away a little so I think with her light weight she can be very competitive.”