Another Sacred winner

Sacred Rhythm getting through on the inside to beat fellow Cambridge galloper She'stoohottotrot at Ruakaka today.

Sacred Rhythm getting through on the inside to beat fellow Cambridge galloper She’stoohottotrot at Ruakaka today.

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike and Raffles Racing keep combining to churn out not only winners but very promising gallopers.

Following on the heels of Sacred Shot, who took his record to two wins and two seconds from four starts when scoring an impressive staying win at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, Pike produced the Raffles Dancers Ltd’s Sacred Rhythm to open his winning account on debut at Ruakaka today.

A three-year-old daughter of Pentire, Sacred Rhythm was expected to win the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 1200 and she didn’t let her fans down.

She started a $2.90 favourite on the strength of being unbeaten in three trials, but she didn’t get it all her own way in the run home having to fight strongly to score by a long head from the Shaune Ritchie-trained She’stoohottotrot.

Rider Leith Innes bounced her out well and settled her into the trail, but she was held up early in the run home when a gap outside the leader closed and Innes had to switch her to the inside. Once balanced, she finished her task off well.

“The 1200 metres was probably too short for her today,” said Innes. “She got the breaks but she still had to chase the second horse down. It was a good effort.”

The win came as no surprise to trials form watchers as Sacred Rhythm had looked well above average in her three trials.

Her first two juvenile heats were last autumn at Cambridge (800m) and Te Awamutu (900m), the latter when beating the subsequent winner and promising galloper Jon Snow, who was second in the Gr.2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas and a last-start third behind Swissta in the Gr.2 Jamieson Park Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

As a lead-up to today’s event Sacred Rhythm was successful late last month at Te Awamutu over 850 metres.

Bred by Rich Hill Thoroughbreds Ltd, Sacred Rhythm was bought by Raffles Racing and Mulcaster Bloodstock from the 2015 Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka for $85,000. His brother is among the Rich Hill Stud draft for this year’s Select Yearling Sale on February 1.

Sacred Rhythm is from Bluegrass, an Australian-bred daughter of Fasliyev and is from the family of Singapore Sling, whose five wins included the Listed Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie for trainer Lisa Anderson.

Upbeat, winner of the Gr.2 MRC Autumn Classic, Adelaide Guineas winner Alpha Beat and the Gr.3 BRC Chairman’s Handicap winner Humma (10 wins) are also related to Sacred Rhythm.