Racing: Derby debate for Rangipo

By Mike Dillon

Rangipo wins the $100,000 The Hits Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie yesterday. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Rangipo wins the $100,000 The Hits Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie yesterday. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Trainer Tony Pike and winning rider Vinnie Colgan have slightly different opinions.

After Rangipo won yesterday's $100,000 The Hits Great Northern Guineas (1600m) Pike offered his opinion that the 3-year-old would stay the 2400m of the Derby distance in March.

Colgan is nowhere near as sure. "I think up to 2000m he'll be fine, anything further than that and it might be open to question."

Rangipo is by a sprint sire in Stryker, but is bred from the Zabeel mare Holloway. There is a line you could put a jersey bull over a Zabeel mare and breed a winner.

"He's always given me the impression he'll get a staying trip," said Pike. "He has a sharp turn of foot and relaxes. He cleared the gates quickly today and Vinny dictated the pace outside the leader and he relaxed."

Pike lost a little confidence in Rangipo's chances after a couple of well fancied runners had been previously beaten on the programme.

"I was a little worried about the rain to be fair," he said. Having won four of his last six, Rangipo takes a high rating among the 3-year-olds.

Get That Jive finished on bravely to grab second without ever looking a danger to the winner and Dukedom, after trailing the speed, ground away bravely on the inside where the footing seemed to be slower than the centre of the track after a few races.

• Ten mates who share drinks at the Papakura Rugby Football Club were a happy bunch in the Winners Bar at Ellerslie after Cheeky Boy took a breathtaking victory in yesterday's $75,000 Dunstan Feeds Championship Final.

"I used to play squash with a lot of these guys when I was 21," said trainer Bruce Wallace after Cheeky Boy's nose victory over Brampton Loco.

"I had this horse on my books and I rang each of these guys and got them in the horse," said Wallace, who wasn't entirely happy taking all the training credit.

"Allan [Peard] is responsible for much of the training, even though they're in my name."

The winning Cheeky Boy ride went to Mark Hills when Grant Cooksley was unable to make the 54kg.

Brampton Loco looks a stayer of the future with his solid closing second. "I thought we were beaten, but he never stopped trying," said rider Michael Coleman.

Race favourite Scrutinize had his chances extinguished early in the race after receiving a hefty check shortly after the start which saw him settle towards the rear of the field.

He eventually finished ninth after making up some ground in the run home.

- NZ Herald

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