Ready to shape up in Sydney

Unbeaten Kiwi colt Sacred Falls is set to make his first public appearance in Sydney on February 1.

A last-start winner of the Group I Sothy’s NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, Sacred Falls has been transferred from his Cambridge trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue to the stable of leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller.

Sacred Falls arrived in Sydney in mid-December and Waller has been keeping Pike informed of the progress of the exciting three-year-old.

“Chris has been in close contact and I saw him at the Gold Coast Sales, too,” said Pike. “He’s very happy with the way Sacred Falls is coming up and the plan is to barrier trial him at Warwick Farm on February 1.”

According to Pike, Sacred Falls is likely to make his Australian debut in the Group III $A175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 16 then proceed to the Group II $A200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2 and the $A500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick a fortnight later.

“He had four weeks off after the 2000 Guineas and I had him back in work for a week before he went over to Chris,” said Pike. “It’s sad to see him go, but we had a lot of fun with him. He left here unbeaten and a Group One winner and you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Sacred Falls won twice as a two-year-old and went from strength to strength, culminating in his sixth straight win coming in the Riccarton classic to give Pike and Donoghue their first Group One training success.

While Sacred Falls has headed to Waller’s stable, Sacred Star has crossed the Tasman to join the Pike — Donoghue team after being trained by Waller to win twice from eight starts.

Sacred Star left Waller’s team on a winning note, scoring over 1900 metres at Rosehill on November 17, and he made his debut from the Pike — Donoghue barn 13 days later in the Group I Levin Classic.

Sacred Star finished 10th, four lengths from the winner Southern Lord, at Otaki after being tightened for room in the final stages.

“It wasn’t a bad run,” said Pike. “He was at the end of a long preparation and was dropping back from 1900 to 1600. Leith (rider Leith Innes) felt nothing went his way and he got into a bit of trouble.”

Sacred Star was freshened after the Levin Classic and will resume in the Group III $70,000 Phil Cataldo Bloodstock Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.

“He freshened up nicely, but he’ll definitely benefit from the run,” said Pike. “He’s a place chance at best. He needs more ground, 2000 metres and further.”

Stablemate Carrick will also run at Trentham this weekend with his mission being the Group III $70,000 Mills Reef Winery Trentham Stakes (2100m).

He resumed in the Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie over the Christmas — New Year carnival and his unplaced effort is best overlooked.

“He was just run off his feet,” said Pike. “He’s going to be far better suited this weekend over 2100. The bit of cut in the ground will help him. too. I think he’ll go very well.”