Derby hope takes gloss off Pike’s day

Sacred Rhythm (Vinnie Colgan) beating Date Night in today's Bob Sharrock Memorial Oaks Prelude.

Sacred Rhythm (Vinnie Colgan) beating Date Night in today’s Bob Sharrock Memorial Oaks Prelude.

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike celebrated a winning double on Saturday as well as the emergence of another potential Group One contender,

At Ellerslie, Pike was successful with Sin To Win in the Macular Degeneration NZ 1600 and he was also delighted with Sacred Way’s performance to finish runner-up in the Visique Rose Optometrists 1500. While at New Plymouth, Pike’s best moment came when Sacred Rhythm claimed the Listed Bob Sharrock Memorial Oaks Prelude.

That would ordinarily add up to an excellent day’s work, but Pike was nonplussed by his beaten Gr.2 Retina Specialists Avondale Guineas favourite, Sacred Elixir.

“It was a pretty solid day for us, but Sacred Elixir was the biggest disappointment,” he said.

“He wasn’t that far away in seventh, but he travelled into it like he should have won and he just didn’t finish off like he should have done.

“We’ve got a bit of work to do and we’ll get him checked out on Monday. Whether he runs in the Derby or not, we’ll have to see closer to the time.”

Sacred Rhythm did end the stable’s day on a good note when she overcame a wide run to show she has a bright future over ground.

“It was only her third start and last time on Karaka Million night her saddle slipped and she got back and in all sorts of trouble,” said Pike.

“She kept closing today and she’s got plenty of staying potential. Whether she gets to the Oaks or not I’m not sure. She’s not nominated, but More Than Sacred was a late nomination and she won it for us.

“If not, then Brisbane is an option and Sacred Way looks a definite Queensland Derby horse as well.”

– NZ Racing Desk.