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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Tuesday, February 07 2017

Sacred Elixir won’t be taking on the older horses in Saturday’s Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes.

Sacred Elixir, pictured winning the Caulfield Guineas Prelude. (Photo: Darryl Sherer)

Sacred Elixir, pictured winning the Caulfield Guineas Prelude. (Photo: Darryl Sherer)

Although trainer Tony Pike nominated the three-year-old for the Te Rapa feature, he will stick to his original plan and keep the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby favourite to his own age group.

“I was always leaning toward the Avondale Guineas for his next run – the timing is much better with the Derby in mind,” he said.

Pike can’t fault the condition of the high-class son of Pour Moi, who has breezed through his first-up run at Ellerslie where he finished fourth at short odds in the Listed Karaka Mile behind the unbeaten filly Volpe Veloce.

“There’s always high expectations with a horse like him and everybody thought he would just blow them away,” said Pike.

“Even though he was fresh-up over a mile, he raced a bit dour. In a slowly-run race, his sectional times were pretty much equal with the winner.

“When you put all that into context, I was pretty happy with him.”

Sacred Elixir’s appearance at Ellerslie was his first since he finished runner-up in the Gr.1 VRC Derby at Flemington in October.

“We didn’t have a lot of time after Melbourne to get him back so he was always going to be vulnerable first-up,” said Pike.

“The most important thing is that he has come through the race very well.”

Posted by: AT 01:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email