Sacred Falls’ brother surprises at Rotorua trials

Tony Pike got more than he expected with the three-year-old brother to dual Group One winner Sacred Falls at yesterday’s Rotorua trials.

Owned and bred by Waikato Stud, the O’Reilly – Iguazu’s Girl showed he had inherited some of his older brother’s ability when winning a maiden 800-metre heat by a half-length in the hands of Rory Hutchings.

“He surprised me,” said Pike. “It was his first trial and he won with his ears pricked.

“I didn’t expect him to win. He’s a big goose at this stage and has taken a bit of time. He’s obviously got ability and will have another trial before we decide what to do.”

Sacred Falls began his career in the Pike – Mark Donoghue stable and was unbeaten in six starts, culminating with victory in the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in November 2012. He then joined Chris Waller’s Sydney stable and won last year’s Gr. 1 Doncaster Handicap.

Pike and Donoghue enjoyed a successful day at the trials with five of their 10 runners being successful.

Their first winner was a Sir Percy gelding in a juvenile 800-metre heat and the others were three-year-olds by High Chaparral and O’Reilly in three-year-old in a maiden 1000-metre trials and a Keeper three-year-old in a maiden 1230-metre heat.

“They were all nice young horses,” said Pike. “The Sir Percy will go out for  spell now and I was really impressed with the way the High Chaparral won.”