Tony Pike's most productive season as a public trainer hit another notable mark yesterday at Tauranga where the ironically-named Summer's Day took the stable's tally of black type winners for 2015-16 into double figures.
The Cambridge horseman has now produced 76 winners for the term - his previous highest tally was 40 - including the New Zealand Derby with Rangipo, while across the Tasman he recently celebrated group one success with Provocative and Sacred Elixir.
The performance of Summer's Day in the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic lit up the gloomiest of days and capped her fast rise through the grades.
"She's been a great little mare to us and she's only finished out of the first four twice in 17 starts," said Pike's father Wayne.
"Her work had been very good and we were confident where she was in that respect, but she had never raced on anything like this before."
The winner of both her previous two appearances at Ellerslie, Summer's Day was in behind the leader early and rider Vinnie Colgan let her stride to the front 500 metres from home.
"It's been a great season and this is special as she's a family horse," Pike said.
The central districts visitor Aide Memoire, the winner of the Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup at her previous appearance, fought on tenaciously for second after setting the early pace with Designated Driver third ahead of Underthemoonlight.
Meanwhile, well-performed colt Battle Time was a class above his rivals at Tauranga where he was untested to double his winning tally.
Luck had deserted him this preparation before he turned his fortunes around with a commanding performance to claim the Zest 3YO.
Battle Time travelled easily in third spot under Vinnie Colgan and they coasted home after taking charge 350 metres from home.
Battle Time led home a quinella for his sire Battle Paint with Acrylic while pacemaker Stradivarius tired to finish third.
- NZ Racing Desk