Pike looking for more Gold
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is confident Field Of Gold will handle the step up in class and distance when he steps out in Saturday's Gr.3 War Decree Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.
The talented three-year-old has won both of his starts this season and Pike said he has continued to see improvement from the son of Starspangledbanner.
"His work through the week has been super," he said. "I can't fault the horse.
"He has probably improved off that first-up run, he is still a little bit green off the bridle.
"He should continue to improve off that run and be extremely hard to beat on Saturday."
Field of Gold will be partnered by Kozzi Asano who rode him to his last start victory in the Guineas Trial (1400m) at Riccarton.
"Having Kozzi go down with the team, he knows the horses so it is a huge help," Pike said.
Pike will also be represented by impressive two-year-old Stimulant and consistent mare London Bound at Riccarton.
Meanwhile Pike said Tutukaka appears to have come through yesterday's victory in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) well and is on track for next week's Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m).
"I haven't talked to Tony Noonan (who is looking after the horse) today but he sent some videos through and he looked in great order," Pike said.
"Obviously we won't need to do too much between now and next Saturday, he will probably just do a bit of quiet work on Tuesday and away we go."
Campaign halted for Bonny Lass
Top-class three-year-old Bonny Lass has been scratched from Saturday's Gr. 3 Matamata Veterinary Services Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) after pulling a muscle in her hindquarters.
The Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall-trained Group Two winner had finished a solid fourth in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) fresh-up and had been one of the leading contenders for Saturday's feature.
The set-back will also rule the daughter of Super Easy out of the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m), where There You Go is now a dominant $3 favourite.
Tralee Rose not penalised for Geelong triumph
Wednesday's Gr.3 Geelong Cup (2400m) winner Tralee Rose has avoided a penalty for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday week.
The Symon Wilde-trained daughter of Tavistock remains on 51kg in the Melbourne Cup, but has risen four places to 20th in the order of entry in 24 hours thanks to the prizemoney earned in yesterday's win and the withdrawal of higher ranked trio Montefilia, Dawn Patrol and King of Leogrance.
In electing not to penalise the five-year-old New Zealand-bred mare, Racing Victoria Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter noted hers was a hard-fought victory over an outsider who is not nominated for the Melbourne Cup in Dr Drill.
He further added that no mare has placed in a Melbourne Cup in the 15 editions since Makybe Diva won the race in 2005.
Geelong Cup third placegetter, the Sue Murphy-trained South Australian visitor Hasta La War, was another to rise in the order of entry owing to prizemoney earned yesterday. He improved one position to 39th but will likely need to win the Gr.3 Hotham Handicap (2500m) at Flemington on October 30 to secure a Cup start.
Two under cloud for Cox Plate
Racing Victoria veterinarians inspected all 10 horses accepted to run in Saturday's Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.
The John Barry trained Callsign Mav displayed lameness in his left front leg and as such will be re-examined on Friday. Stewards were advised that the gelding has been attended to by the stable veterinarian and farrier and has missed no work.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Gold Trip also displayed lameness in his off fore and off hind leg and will be re-examined tomorrow.
All other horses were passed fit to race.
Conservative tactics for Cotehele
Tavistock three-year-old Cotehele will contest Saturday's A$1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) at Randwick for trainer John O'Shea, where he will attempt to turn the tables on Hilal and Coastwatch, who beat him home in the Gr.2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) last start.
Sam Clipperton will ride the half-brother to Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Ugo Foscolo, with tactics likely to be more conservative up to the mile.
"We probably rode him a bit too forward for him the other day and he got flushed out a little bit early," O'Shea said.
"We will ride him a bit more conservatively on Saturday and give him a chance to settle. I think if we do that, he will be a lot more effective.
"We are very happy with him and he is a good chance."
Cotehele was a $100,000 Karaka purchase from Valachi Downs and has won two of his five starts for O'Shea.
Mighty win in Sydney
Mightybeel recorded his second consecutive win when successful in The Agency Real Estate Handicap (1800m) at Randwick's Kensington track on Wednesday.
The four-year-old Savabeel gelding stepped onto the track as race favourite and though he won convincingly by three-quarters of a length, the run was less than smooth sailing with Mightybeel having to overcome traffic difficulties.
"It was a very good win," jockey Glyn Schofield said.
"He carried a big weight (60.5kgs) and it was a strong tempo early on then they backed off a bit.
"Coming around the corner into the straight I had two options, I could either come out but Jason (Collett, rider of third place Stuck With You) had a bit more horse than I thought he did and he was going to make me work for it, so I thought with a big weight I'd make it painless and go to the inside and he did the rest.
"He didn't touch the bridle the whole way, he was beautiful."
Chris Waller stable representative Charlie Duckworth was equally impressed with the son of Savabeel and said there was plenty ahead for Mightybeel.
"We're delighted to get another win with him," Duckworth said. "It probably looked a bit dicey at the top of the straight about where we were going to go, he had to go back to the inferior part of the track but still let down with his strong turn of foot and was too good.
"He obviously handles soft tracks and good tracks so there is plenty of options and the future is bright."
Mightybeel was purchased by Go Racing at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales from the Book 1 draft of Little Avondale Stud. He has now won three of his nine starts and placed on a further two occasions.