Sacred Elixir now Derby favourite

Sacred Elixir, who is now all the rage for next weekend's Gr. 1 Victoria Derby after his win at Moonee Valley yesterday morning. (Photo: Darryl Sherer).

Sacred Elixir, who is now all the rage for next weekend’s A$1.5 million Gr. 1 AAMI Victoria Derby after his win at Moonee Valley yesterday morning. (Photo: Darryl Sherer).

Star Cambridge three-year-old Sacred Elixir has been promoted to the top of Victoria Derby betting with his fine win at Moonee Valley.

The Tony Pike-trained Group One winner has had his Derby odds slashed from $8 to $4.40 in Australia following his splendid dress rehearsal in yesterday’s Lucrf Super Vase Stakes over 2040 metres.

The three-year-old event last year was won by Jameka who went on to win the VRC Oaks and take last week’s Caulfield Cup, while Tarzino finished third in the Vase before going on to VRC Derby success.

In the hands of Damian Lane, Sacred Elixir was sent out the $4.60 favourite yesterday and he produced an ideal trial for the Derby when scoring by a half-length from the outside Morvada with So Si Bon in third spot.

Pike was thrilled to see Sacred Elixir’s Derby plans were back on track. After scoring first-up at Caulfield last month, Sacred Elixir finished eighth to Divine Prophet in the Caulfield Guineas on October 8.

“After getting beaten in the Guineas there was a little bit of doubt creeping in, but it was a good strong win today and he relaxed well,” said Pike.

Pike removed the blinkers from Sacred Elixir for yesterday’s event in an effort to get the gelding to settle.

“He got fired up before the Guineas and over-raced which was probably the telling factor,” he said. “He was good today. He switched off without the blinkers and was strong to the line.

“The bigger flatter Flemington track and the extra ground is going to suit him.”

Hong Kong-based Zac Purton has been engaged to replace Lane on Sacred Elixir in the Victoria Derby, an arrangement made public before the Melbourne campaign began.

Lane has ridden Sacred Elixir, a Pour Moi gelding, in each of his Melbourne outings.

“Zac has had first call on the ride (on Sacred Elixir) all spring, but this is the first time he has been able to commit due to the Hong Kong Jockey Club rules,” Raffles Thoroughbred Racing’s Bruce Sherwin told The Informant.

Purton has enjoyed much success for Sacred Elixir’s owners, RafflesThoroughbred Racing, winning the Gr.1 JJ Atkins in Queensland last winter on yesterday’s winner and also being aboard Sacred Falls in his second Gr. 1 Doncaster Mile win as well as his Gr.1 George Main Stakes victory.