Cox Plate in the mix for Elixir

Sacred Elixir giving the Australians a glimpse of his presence. (Photo: Grant Peters).

Sacred Elixir giving the Australians a glimpse of his presence. (Photo: Grant Peters).

Rising three-year-old Sacred Elixir could earn himself a crack at the best weight-for-age performers in Australasia in the spring.

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike hasn’t ruled out the Group One winner taking on the older horses if his form warranted it.

“He will kick off in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude on September 24, that’s obviously a nice race to get him ready for the Caulfield Guineas,” said the Cambridge trainer. “Then we will decide what path we take – the VRC Derby or if he was to be really dominant in the Caulfield Guineas we could consider the Cox Plate. It will just depend how he is going.”

Pike will also have to decide on a replacement jockey for Sacred Elixir as Zac Purton, who won the Gr. 1 J. J. Atkins on the Pour Moi gelding, will be unavailable.

“Unfortunately, Zac will be tied up in Hong Kong and he can’t ride Sacred Elixir in the Caulfield Guineas,” he said.

“There’s nothing set in stone yet. It’s still a fair way away and we’ll sort out a rider closer to the time.”

Pike also confirmed that Sacred Elixir would remain in his care until at least the end of this season.

“He is part-owned in Hong Kong and whether he heads up there at the end of his three-year-old year we’ll just have to see,” he said.

“If he keeps putting his hand up there is plenty of money available for him in Australia over the next couple of seasons.”

Sacred Elixir hasn’t raced since his commanding victory at Eagle Farm in June and, along with his Gr. 1 Queensland Oaks-winning stablemate Provocative and the Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo, he remained in Australia after his winter campaign.

“They spelled for three weeks and they’ve been back in work for three weeks now and, at this stage, they will fly down to Melbourne on August 11,” said Pike.

“They all spelled fantastically well. There’s a lot of improvement left in them.”

Provocative is likely to resume over 1600 metres at Moonee Valley toward the end of next month.

Pike may then aim the daughter of Zabeel toward the Gr. 3 The Bart Cummings at Flemington on October 2 as the winner of the 2500-metre handicap is exempt from the ballot for the Gr. 1 Melbourne Cup.

– NZ Racing Desk.