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Rangipo Set To Surprise In Fred Best
Trainer Tony Pike expects New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo to prove highly competitive in Saturday's Gr3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben, despite the distance being significantly shorter than the gelding's perceived best trip, reports Racing.com. Pike is adamant that Rangipo is not your traditional New Zealand stayer, insisting that the son of Stryker (Fastnet Rock) is much better suited to a middle distance. "He won his maiden at 1000m and basically, he's just a really versatile horse that was in great form and he probably never really saw the Derby distance out but his heart got him through it and he just managed to get the win," Pike said. "He really only fell in but we never thought he'd get a mile-and-a-half but he was just in great form at that time of year and obviously being a big race with a lot of prize money we thought we'd roll the dice and have a crack and he managed to get the job done." Pike added: "But he is quite effective at the short trips and I think really a mile is his peak distance." Rangipo will come up against a quality field of 3YOs when he makes his Australian debut on the weekend, but Pike says he is fit enough to sprint well fresh over the 1350m. "Saturday's race is a hot field but he's drawn a good barrier (5) and I think he'll be sharp enough at 1350m - fresh-up anyway," Pike said. Pike confirmed Rangipo's primary winter target is the Gr2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm on 11 June.