Tony Pike thinks long and hard before he takes the Shark bait.

The Cambridge horseman is not only one of the in-form Group 1 trainers in the country, but one of thoroughbred racing's better form analysts.

And he knows how good Te Akau Shark is.

He saw his staggering last-start win, can read the sectionals. He knows x-factor when he sees it.


But that doesn't stop Pike hoping his stable gun The Bostonian can beat his fellow Kiwi superstar in the A$1 million George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill tomorrow.

Te Akau Shark is the $2 favourite dropping back from 1600m at Randwick to 1500m at Rosehill, which is hardly ideal but there are only nine in the race and he should probably still win.

And while rivals like Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth mean The Bostonian isn't the only danger, Pike thinks he is the biggest one.

"On form, maybe we can't beat him," ponders Pike.

"But my horse is flying. He is really flying, as good as he was when he won the Doomben 10,000 last year.

"After that he went on to win the Kingsford Smith the next start and he is just as good now.

"So he has the option to be in front of The Shark and the wet track, while it will probably only be a soft 5, won't do our chances any harm.

"It is not impossible to beat him and if he races as well as I think he will I think he will finish top three and has a small winning hope."


James McDonald hops on The Bostonian, a last-start Group 1 winner over 1300m, for the first time tomorrow to pen another chapter of his epic novel of head-to-head rides against good mate Opie Bosson, the pair having quinellaed both $1m races on Karaka Million night in January.

But this time Bosson, who is based in Sydney for the next three weeks, might simply have more horsepower.

Te Akau Shark has developed into the horse many hoped he would and is so strong now Bosson can move on him earlier to negate Rosehill's more turning nature and shorter straight. If he is within three lengths of the leaders at the 300m then his $2 will be good money.

While Pike is hoping The Bostonian can cause the upset, he is just hoping Sherwood Forest comes out of tomorrow's A$600,000 Rosehill Guineas ready to win another Derby.

The last-start Vodafone Derby winner at Ellerslie has drawn the outside barrier at 13 in the 2000m Group 1, up against Scorpz and the local stars like Shadow Hero and Castelvecchio.

"It is a tough race for him from out there and I will leave the tactics up to Mickey (Walker, jockey)," says Pike.

"But I would hate to see him have a silly hard run from out there and while we want to win this is still a lead-up to his main aim, the Derby in two weeks."

Ready for Rosehill

• The Kiwis have a huge hand in the features at Rosehill tomorrow.

• Te Akau Shark is the $2 favourite for the A$1 million George Ryder.

• Vodafone Derby winner Sherwood Forest makes his Australian debut as does fellow Cambridge galloper Scorpz.