Tony Pike is hoping the omens will prove the same after taking the Sunline Vase at Ellerslie with Rock Diva.
Pike and Rock Diva’s owners Raffles Farm won the Sunline Vase last year with More Than Sacred, who went on to win the New Zealand Oaks at Trentham 10 days later.
They are hoping history may repeat itself with Rock Diva, who outfinished favourite Moozoon to win the 2000m race by two lengths at just her fourth start.
Rock Diva isn’t nominated for the NZ Oaks but Pike, who trains at Cambridge with Mark Donoghue, expects to put a late nomination in.
“She hadn’t even had a barrier trial at nomination stage and she wasn’t named,” Pike said.
“But it’s one of those things with Raffles: if you pay up four or five fillies, chances are only one of them will get there anyway so half the time you’re better off to wait.”
A half-sister to Australian Derby winner Shamrocker, Rock Diva was a $NZ200,000 premier yearling purchase and an Oaks victory would make that money seem a very good investment.
“You probably couldn’t have asked for a better Oaks trial,” Pike said.
Rock Diva’s victory was the second Group Three victory for the day for Pike, who earlier won the Westbury Classic with Chintz.
Moozoon ran well for second after facing the breeze and should be competitive in the Oaks.
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