One of New Zealand's most promising 3-year-olds, Scribe, is out of the Karaka Classic Mile after being sold to Hong Kong.
The deal has been done to send the unbeaten son of Press Statement to David Hayes and while trainer Tony Pike suggested to the new owners they could leave the gelding in his care for the $1 million race at Ellerslie on January 22, they have decided against that.
"It will be a shame to see him go because he is a very talented horse but they have bought well," said Pike.
Scribe was rated by far the greatest danger to Karaka Classic Mile favourite On The Bubbles in the rich mile in two weeks, after he beat him fair and square at Te Rapa last month.
That was only his second start and while On The Bubbles was fresh-up after a throat operation and has improved since, the win left no doubt as to Scribe's potential.
His sale continues a remarkable success rate, both on the track and as traders, for the colts syndicate Pike put together three years ago.
He recruited some industry heavy hitters to create a war chest to shop at the sales, most aggressively Karaka, with phenomenal results.
"It was something I needed to do but I don't think any of us could have dreamed it would go this well," says the Cambridge trainer.
Scribe was the $4.60 second favourite for the Karaka Classic Mile, with On The Bubbles the $2 favourite, so he will tighten into $1.70 or $1.80.
Trainer Jamie Richards has confirmed On The Bubbles has come through his Boxing Day win over Pike-trained 3-year-old Pareanui Bay in great shape and he will be part of a star-studded trials session before the Matamata races on Wednesday.
Those trials could also include Amarelinha, who is being aimed at the Westbury Classic on Karaka Million night, and last season's champion juvenile Sword Of State.
Pike rates his best chance of a winner tomorrow as Bentayga (R8, No 6) at Awapuni.