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Pike Aiming High With Smart 2YO
Exciting Cambridge youngster Aim Smart (Smart Missile-North Sea, by Hussonet) looks poised to continue his march towards Group One juvenile spoils in tomorrow's Listed Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Matamata, reports NZ Racing Desk. The China Horse Club-owned colt was accepted for last Saturday's Gr3 Phoenix Park 2YO Classic at New Plymouth but was withdrawn because of the slow eight track, meaning trainer Tony Pike had to rely on his fallback option. That means Pike will now have to renege on a "gentleman's agreement" with Matamata trainer Lance O'Sullivan that Aim Smart would avoid clashing with the O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Summer Passage before next month's Gr1 Sistema Stakes (formerly the Diamond Stakes) at Ellerslie. Aim Smart defeated the highly-regarded Summer Passage by three lengths at Pukekohe on debut, with both horses indicating Gr1 potential. Matamata is a nice backup option for us and going this week instead of last Saturday doesn't change anything for us," Pike said. "He worked in company with [Karaka Million-placed stable-mate] Felton Road on Tuesday and his work was outstanding. He's a clean-winded horse and safely through this he'll head to the [Sistema Stakes] at Ellerslie." Pike added: "If he happened to win that and win well, then we'd talk with Michael [Wallace, racing manager for owner China Horse Club] and the crew and decide our next move. He could head to Manawatu for the Sires there or he could go to Sydney where he's nominated for the ATC Sires' Produce Stakes." The Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes in Sydney and the Gr1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni will both be run on 1 April.