Ready to boost Queensland tally

Sacred Star (Vinnie Colgan) proved too big and too strong for his rivals in the Darley Plate.

Sacred Star (Vinnie Colgan) proved too big and too strong for his rivals in the Darley Plate.

Buoyed by Sacred Elixir’s midweek success in his Australian debut, Tony Pike is looking to his star sprinter-miler Sacred Star to continue the stable’s roll at Doomben on Saturday.

Sacred Star will make his first appearance since winning the Gr. 3 Darley Plate at Ellerslie in March when he steps out in the Gr. 1 BTC Cup.

“Sacred Star has done really well, but it’s a hot race and we’ll have to wait and see how he goes against these top sprinters,” said Pike.

“It’s a very strong field and if he can run in the money we would be very happy and continue on the Group One path or we can always drop him back.”

The $A1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap, in which Sacred Star finished an unlucky sixth last year, is the loftier goal while the Gr. 2 QTC Cup, also at Eagle Farm, a week earlier (June 4) and the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on July 2 are easier options.

The stable’s Queensland tenure got away to the perfect start yesterday when the two-year-old Sacred Elixir carried topweight of 58kg to victory over 1400 metres at the Sunshine Coast.

“That was a good way to kick off and he’s got bigger targets coming up,” said Pike. “We’ve always had a pretty good opinion of him and he’s really strengthened up.

“He’s likely to head to the Sires’ Produce on the 28th(May). It looks a good race for him, even though it’s only 1350 metres, but they go pretty quickly around Doomben and that will suit him and set him up nicely for the J.J. Atkins over a mile at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.”

The third member of the team in Australia is the Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo, who will start in Saturday week’s Gr. 3 Fred Best Classic ahead of the Gr. 2 Queensland Guineas on June 11.

“Provocative will be going over on Sunday as well and she’ll run at Ipswich next Wednesday and hopefully she’ll pick up enough prizemoney to get into the Queensland Oaks,” said Pike.

– NZ Racing Desk.