Pike gets Karaka Million shot

Sacred Elixir charging down the outer to grab The Soultaker at Ellerslie today.

Sacred Elixir charging down the outer to grab The Soultaker at Ellerslie today.

Surprise juvenile packet Sacred Elixir will provide Tony Pike with an unexpected crack at the Listed Karaka Million.

The youngster confirmed his place in New Zealand’s richest race with a hard-fought victory for the Cambridge trainer in today’s Countdown to Karaka Million 1200 at Ellerslie.

“He’s a big, strong boy and we didn’t think he would come this far as a two-year-old so we’ll roll the dice again,” said Pike.

Narrowly beaten on debut, the Pour Moi gelding raced close to the pace and he wound up powerfully in the straight to collar the favourite The Soultaker right on the line.

“I thought he might get out-bobbed again,” said a relieved Pike. “We might put the blinkers on him for the Karaka Million. He’s still a bit green but he was very strong to the line.”

A great grandson of the multiple Group One winner and Japan Cup heroine Horlicks, Sacred Elixir banked $12,000 for his victory to leapfrog from 26th to ninth in order of entry to the Karaka Million.

He is now a $7 chance in the market, while the effort of The Soultaker has him at $6 behind the $2.80 favourite Manolo Blahniq, prepared at Cambridge by Craig Thornton.

– NZ Racing Desk.