No Queensland trip for Sacred Elixir

Sacred Elixir will be relaxing at home instead of competing in another Derby. (Photo: Grant Peters).

Sacred Elixir will be relaxing at home instead of competing in another Derby. (Photo: Grant Peters).

Tony Pike has scrapped plans for a return trip to Brisbane for Sacred Elixir.

The Cambridge trainer kept the Gr.1 VRC Derby placegetter in work after his courageous run for fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby, but has now ruled out a third classic tilt.

“He’s not going to Brisbane. He will have a good long spell instead and then come back for the spring,” said Pike.

“He’s getting there, but we were still not 100 percent happy with him and decided that Brisbane would come up too quickly.

“It was a good effort in the Derby here and his sectionals were very good, but we still knew he wasn’t at his peak.

“We have had trouble getting his blood right and, while there was a chance he could still run okay in Brisbane, there was also the risk that it could have completely flattened him.”

While Sacred Elixir, winner of last season’s Gr.1 J.J. Atkins, will be staying at home, owners Raffles Racing and Pike have Sacred Way and Sacred Shot on the short list for the Queensland carnival.

The former was a first-up winner at Pukekohe last January and placed in his next two starts.The Gr.1 Queensland Derby hopeful will trial next week and is then likely to run at Te Rapa on April 29.

“He’s got the ability, but mentally he’s still not there,” said Pike.  “We have got some gear changes in mind and if he puts it all together he can be competitive in good three-year-old company in Brisbane.”

Sacred Shot is likely to make his Australian debut over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm on April 29.

The Savabeel gelding has won two of his seven starts and he showed his talent when he pressed his stablemate and subsequent Gr.1 Auckland Cup winner Chenille in the Karaka Stayers Cup at Ellerslie in January.

– NZ Racing Desk.