NZ Briefs for 24th March 2020

Pike team to transfer; 2020/21 Racing calendar issue suspended

Not An Option
Not An Option Picture: Race Images Photo

Pike team to transfer

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike has made the call to bring home his Sydney-based staff of Mark Hills and Chris McNab.

Pike was campaigning The Bostonian, Sherwood Forest, and Not An Option across the Tasman and had already recorded elite-level success.

The Bostonian added another Group One to his resume when victorious in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) earlier this month before finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on the weekend.

"Both of the staff came back on a commercial flight this (Tuesday) afternoon," Pike said.

All three horses will be transferred to the care of local trainers, with The Bostonian being aimed towards the Gr.1 All-Aged Stakes (1400m), while Sherwood Forest and Not An Option will contest the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) and Gr.3 Schweppervescence (1400m) respectively.

2020/21 Racing calendar issue suspended

Due to the uncertain timeframe for the resumption of racing in New Zealand due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic the Dates Committee have decided to suspend the issue of the 2020/21 racing calendar.

Draft two of the calendar was due to be issued on Tuesday and the TAB, in consultation with the racing codes, have decided to wait until they have a better understating of the situation and the effect it will have on racing in New Zealand.

"As you'll fully appreciate the impact of COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the racing industry, including the suspension of all racing for a minimum of four weeks," dates committee chairman Edward Rennell said.

"We will be in contact when we have a better understanding of any impact or considerations the impact of COVID-19 may have in relation to the 2020/21 calendar."


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