Group One Contender for Sebring

 In 2017, News

Cambridge horseman Tony Pike has strengthened his hand for the Group I New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with exciting Sebring three year-old Ever Loyal booking his spot with a facile victory in the Listed Zacinto Stakes at Riccarton on Saturday.

Ever Loyal is now an $8 chance in the Guineas after his victory romp under jockey Jason Waddell.

They crossed from a wide gate to race in second spot and were left sitting ducks before the turn, but Ever Loyal kept going to the line to win 1600 metre feature in good style.

“It was a confident ride from Jason on Ever Loyal,” Pike said. “He had to do plenty of work early on and when the leader rolled off 500m out our horse was left in front.

“He’s a lovely horse and we’ve always had a good opinion of him and he’s still learning and improving.”

A $240,000 NZB Premier purchase from the Lyndhurst Farm draft, Ever Loyal was bred by SF Bloodstock and foaled and raised at Newgate Farm.

He was a successful pinhook having been bought first from the Newgate Farm draft at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale by Karl Brown Bloodstock for $110,000.

With two wins and a second from four starts, he is the third winner from Miss Lucille, a Rory’s Jester grand-daughter of champion sprinter Special and is the 33rd stakes-winner for Widden Stud’s flagship sire Sebring.