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Pike Launches Dual Oaks Bid

Friday, 30th May 2014

Meanwhile, the fillies who look most likely to trouble Arabian Gold in this weekend's Queensland Oaks are the two well-bred Kiwi stable mates, Rock Diva and Sancerre. Rock Diva, who is bred to be an Oaks winner being a half-sister to Australian Derby winner Shamrocker, was responsible for an eye-catching Oaks trial when charging home from the rear of the field for sixth behind Arabian Gold in the Doomben Roses. She is sure to appreciate the step up to 2400m, having already been tried over the distance when third to Miss Mossman in the New Zealand Oaks in March. But perhaps the most intriguing runner of the race, however, is the O'Reilly filly Sancerre, who will attempt to emulate her dam Vouvray (Zabeel) who won the Queensland Oaks in 2004. Sancerre has won 3 of her 5 starts, including an easy last start victory over 2200m at Ipswich, and is held in high regard by trainer Tony Pike. Pike says he is happy with both his runners leading into Saturday's race, and is expecting them to be highly competitive. "I'm really happy with them all so hopefully we'll have a good day," Pike told NZ Racing Desk. Regarding Rock Diva's prospects, the Cambridge trainer said: "She'll outstay a lot of the field and we've just got to hope there's a nice, even tempo and she can track up and get home late. She'll strip a lot fitter and she'll be a lot more competitive on the bigger Eagle Farm track." Pike acknowledges he is throwing the inexperienced Sancerre in the deep end, but is confident she has the ability. "I couldn't be happier with her but it's a massive step up in class. I've always held her in high regard but she's just thriving over here." He added, "She's going to be a lot closer on the turn than Rock Diva and I think she'll run super."

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