Sacred Master making up for lost time

Sacred Master (Leith Innes) scoring easily at Ruakaka. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Sacred Master (Leith Innes) scoring easily at Ruakaka. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

An injury suffered in Sacred Master’s second start may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the promising Cambridge galloper who cleared maiden ranks at Ruakaka yesterday.

The strapping gelding had won twice at the trials before a third on debut and had trainer Tony Pike regarding him as a possible three-year-old classic contender.

However, those plans were soon scuttled when the son of Mastercraftsman severely pulled a muscle second-up at Ellerslie last November. The injury required a lengthy spell and resulted in the gelding missing the majority of his three-year-old season.

“It was a fairly wet track that day at Ellerslie and he pulled up very sore in behind,” explained Pike. “He pulled a muscle badly and we had to put him aside for a decent break which in hindsight could have been the best thing to happen to him.

“He had shown us plenty at the trials and went well in his first race so I was thinking he might measure up later in the summer in some of the better races.

“He was quite immature though and that break has done him the world of good. It has allowed him to strengthen up, although he still has a way to go yet.”

Sacred Master made his return to the track at Ruakaka in early July with a fast-finishing second over 1200 metres, an effort which had Pike confident that a winning turn was close at hand.

“He went a super race for second that day after getting into trouble during the run so I did think it wouldn’t be long before he quit maidens,” he said.

“He has always appealed as a type that will get over ground so we stepped him up to 1600 metres (yesterday) and he did the job nicely despite being a little wayward over the last bit when he was trying to knock off.

“He still has a lot to learn, but I can see him developing into a very handy stayer.

”We will just try and work him through the grades now, though his immediate future will be dictated by the weather. He needs a decent track so we won’t run him on anything worse than a dead surface at this stage.” – NZ Racing Desk