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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Tuesday, January 24 2017

Tony Pike will have numbers on his side at Sunday’s high-profile meeting at Ellerslie.

Sacred Elixir
Sacred Elixir Picture:Trish Dunell

Among his representatives will be the glamour three-year-old Sacred Elixir in the NZB Insurance Karaka Mile, his unbeaten stablemate Felton Road in the Karaka Million while Chenille and Sacred Shot will be rivals in the Windsor Park Karaka Stayers Cup.

Sacred Elixir’s return might rival the Karaka Million as the high point of the evening.

He was a youngster of high promise when he left for richer opportunities in Australia and returns to action as a million-dollar earner and a $5 favourite for the $1 million Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 4.

Sacred Elixir has not raced since finishing second in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby at Flemington on October 29.

“We are really happy with him, but he will be vulnerable first-up,” Pike said. “He’s forward enough and looks fantastic, but is not going to be fully wound up by any means.

“He’s a naturally clean-winded horse and has got plenty of residual fitness from his Melbourne campaign.

“His form looks as strong as that for any three-year-old we have had (in New Zealand) for a while.”

Leith Innes rode Sacred Elixir in his three New Zealand starts last term and he will retain the mount for at least the horse’s next three starts.

“Ellerslie is a unique course and Leith is one of the best jockeys around Ellerslie,” Pike said.

The Karaka Mile will be the first of two lead-up races to the Derby forSacred Elixir with his second assignment being either the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa on February 11 or the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie a week later.

Posted by: AT 01:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email