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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, April 12 2017

Tony Pike has scrapped plans for a return trip to Brisbane for Sacred Elixir.

Sacred Elixir - Bruno Cannatelli

The Cambridge trainer kept the Gr.1 VRC Derby placegetter in work after his courageous run for fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby, but has now ruled out a third classic tilt.

"He's not going to Brisbane. He will have a good long spell instead and then come back for the spring," Pike said.

"He's getting there, but we were still not 100 percent happy with him and decided that Brisbane would come up too quickly.

"It was a good effort in the Derby here and his sectionals were very good, but we still knew he wasn't at his peak.

"We have had trouble getting his blood right and while there was a chance he could still run okay in Brisbane, there was also the risk that it could have completely flattened him."

While Sacred Elixir, who won last season's Gr.1 J.J. Atkins, will be staying at home, owners Raffles Racing and Pike have Sacred Way and Sacred Shot on the short list for the Queensland carnival.

The former was a first-up winner at Pukekohe in January and placed at his next two starts.

The Gr.1 Queensland Derby hopeful will trial next week and is then likely to run at Te Rapa on April 29.

"He's got the ability, but mentally he's still not there," Pike said. "We have got some gear changes in mind and if he puts it all together he can be competitive in good three-year-old company in Brisbane."

Sacred Shot is likely to make his Australian debut over 1800m at Eagle Farm on April 29.

The Savabeel gelding has won two of his seven starts and he showed his quality when he pressed his stablemate and subsequent Gr.1 Auckland Cup winner Chenille in the Karaka Stayers Cup at Ellerslie in January.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 08:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email