Sacred Elixir on track for main prize

Tony Pike, who is very pleased with Sacred Elixir's dress rehearsal for his Group One mission.

Tony Pike, who is very pleased with Sacred Elixir’s dress rehearsal for his Group One mission.

An eye-catching sixth in the Gr. 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben yesterday has Kiwi galloper Sacred Elixir on target for the Gr. 1 BMW JJ Atkins (1660m) in a fortnight.

The Tony Pike-trained Pour Moi gelding passed his biggest test with a performance that has him stamped as one of the major players for the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s biggest two-year-old event.

Settled back, Sacred Elixir was held up nearing the home turn before finishing solidly in cramped quarters to finish less than two lengths from the winner, Attention. It was run that delighted his trainer who had harboured some reservations before the race.

“Doomben is not really a track that suits him as he is a big horse who needs clear galloping room and plenty of time to wind up,” said Pike. “He is still pretty green and just didn’t get any luck when he was coming into the race on the corner.

“To get home like he did was very encouraging and he was still strong well past the post so it bodes well for the step up to 1600 metres in the JJ Atkins around the roomier Eagle Farm circuit.”

Pike will begin his quest for his first Group One winner at this year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival when Provocative takes on the three-year-old fillies in Saturday’s Queensland Oaks.

“She is nineteenth on the order of entry for the Oaks so needs a scratching to make the field but we’ve heard there are one or two higher ranked runners that are doubtful so we’re hopeful of making it,” he said.

“She will have a gallop at Eagle Farm on Tuesday when they open the track for the Oaks runners so we’ll get a good line on her then. She has thrived since her win at Ipswich.

“We know she can stay so the 2400 metres of the Oaks isn’t a concern and you would have to rate her chances given there doesn’t really appear to be a stand-out in this year’s line-up.”

– NZ Racing Desk