Longlands Stud owners Vicki and Wayne Pike don’t go to the races very often these days, but they will be back off to Riccarton on Saturday to watch their smart sprinting mare Not Guilty looking to complete a black-type double in the Listed Lindauer Stewards’ Stakes.
Trained by the Pikes’ son Tony, Not Guilty was an impressive winner of the Listed Donaldson Brown Pegasus Stakes over 1000 metres at Riccarton last Saturday, and according to her co-owner/breeder, she’s ready to go again.
“She came through it like she hasn’t had a race,” part-owner and breeder Vicki Pike said on Monday. “She ate up Saturday night and again yesterday, and today she was pulling the arms off the girl walking her.
“She will line up again in the Stewards, then come home for 10 days in the paddock at Longlands before being aimed at the Gr. 1 Sistema Railway Handicap.
“Riccarton was very exciting; we went down Thursday and came back Monday. We don’t tend to go to the races much these days, but we caught up with family and spent time with the horses – it was a lovely break.
“Not Guilty doesn’t know how not to try. She has been plagued with bad luck, wet tracks and bad draws, several times she could have won, but on Saturday everything went to plan. Longer term her life is now assured as a broodmare.”
Described by Pike as very much a family horse, Not Guilty was bred and is raced by VTW Breeding Company and Frontier Bloodstock. V T W stands for Vicki, Tony and Wayne Pike, while the Frontier shareholders are a pair of good family friends, NZTR board member and race caller Bruce Sherwin and renowned bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster.
For the partnership the mare has now won on five occasions and earlier this year recorded placings in the Listed Lightning Handicap at Trentham and the Listed Power Turf Sprint and Gr. 3 Spring Sprint at Hastings.
Not Guilty is the third foal of the five-race winning O’Reilly mare Notice Received, and on Saturday was the first of a treble of stakes wins for progeny of O’Reilly mares. New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Crocetti is also out of the O’Reilly mare Gracehill and Gr. 1 VRC Champions Mile winner Pride of Jenni is out of Sancerre.
“We bought the mother at a mixed bloodstock sale in Melbourne, she is a lovely mare,” Pike added. “Guy had actually tried to buy her off the track and offered big money for her, but they weren’t selling.
“Soon after he rang and said I see this mare is in the sale, so we got together with Bruce and bought her between us, and we only paid $55,000.
“We brought her home and tried her, but she had a haematoma on her flank and it flared up when she was in work, so we decided to send her to Rip Van Winkle and her second foal was Subpoenaed.”
That 2016 filly won five races up to 1400 metres, including the Gr. 2 Golden Pendant and Millie Fox Stakes at Rosehill Gardens. She was also Group One placed in the SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville.
Notice Received, who was bred by Waikato Stud, is out of the Royal Academy mare Classique Royale, the winner of two races. She is also a half-sister to Apple Danish, whose five wins were all at stakes level.
The third dam Classic Style won races in Great Britain and the USA, and she has a host of black type descendants scattered all around the globe, including winners in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Venezuela.
After failing to conceive in 2017, Notice Received was sent to the Hunter Valley to visit champion stallion Not A Single Doubt, and Not Guilty was the resulting foal.
“As a yearling she went from Longlands to Bhima with the aim of going to the Gold Coast sales, but she caught not one but two viruses,” Pike recalled.
“She was not well, so we brought her home. We weren’t too worried about doing that as she was a lovely filly and each year she has got bigger and stronger and is now a valuable broodmare proposition.”
Since Not Guilty, Notice Received has produced two colts to Almanzor named Summons and King of Cordoba, and this spring she produced a filly to Satono Aladdin and is under service to Proisir.
“We have six broodmares now and four of them are by O’Reilly, I love him as a sire,” Pike said.
“We will only breed form four of the mares this year. Wayne and I have both had health issues and we can’t physically do the work anymore, although Wayne is always on the tractor.
“The time is coming when we may have to give up Longlands, but while we can get good help and we are getting such a lot of pleasure out of these mares, we will stay on and keep breeding.”
Under the Longlands Stud banner, the Pikes have bred a host of stakes winners, including the wonderfully versatile Group One winner Rangirangdoo, a Derby winner in Pantani, NZ 2000 Guineas winner Steely Dan, Satinka, Veronica Franco, Chintz, Kelly O’Reilly and Waterford.