Another Derby bid by Sacred Elixir

Sacred Elixir, who is on track for another Derby tilt in Australia. (Photo: Bruno Cannatelli).

Sacred Elixir, who is on track for another Derby tilt in Australia. (Photo: Bruno Cannatelli).

Cambridge three-year-old Sacred Elixir remains in contention for a return to Australia and a third Derby start.

Trainer Tony Pike has successfully campaigned the son of Pour Moi in Brisbane and Melbourne and he is now looking at Sydney.

The winner of last season’s Gr.1 J. J. Atkins and runner-up in the Gr.1 VRC Derby in the spring, Sacred Elixir ran fifth in last Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Derby, but didn’t harm his future travel plans.

“He pulled up very well, he’s improving and his sectionals were very good,” said Pike. “He got back in a slowly run race and he’s heading in the right direction.

“We’ll look at the ATC Derby. We’re keeping our options open and whether he runs in the Rosehill Guineas has yet to be decided.”

Meanwhile, Pike is thrilled by the condition of Chenille, a $5 favourite for Saturday’s Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, but the prospect of rain is a major concern.

“The weather forecast petrifies me,” he said. “She is in great order and she came through Saturday’s win very well.”

Chenille rounded off her preparation with a dominant performance to win the Nathans Memorial.

Pike is also concerned about a rain-affected track for his Gr.1 Sistema Stakes hope Felton Road, but not so for stablemate and race rival Ujjayyi.

“Felton Road is an unknown and hasn’t trialled on wet ground,” he said. “Ujjayyi, who ran off at Matamata and clearly doesn’t go left-handed, should love some cut in the ground.”

Felton Road won his first two starts before finishing third in the Karaka Million, while Ujjayyi was successful on debut at Te Aroha. She only beat one home in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes after hanging badly.

– NZ Racing Desk.