Tony Pike is confident veteran kiwi raider Sacred Star will be a legitimate chance of success when he lines up for Saturday’s rescheduled 2016 Group 2 QTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
The 2016 QTC Cup was supposed to be contested as the sprint feature on last weekend’s Queensland Oaks card, however inclement weather forced stewards to cancel the day with a view towards this weekend’s Super Saturday card.
Sacred Star has been a strong and consistent performer for Pike through recent trips to Brisbane, and has reportedly taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14th; albeit a reasonably lacklustre performance.
Pike told Racing Ahead the horse worked well alongside stable mate Sacred Elixir at Eagle Farm and Tuesday morning, and will lay a great account for himself in the 2016 QTC Cup should he bring his best form to the race.
“He was probably a run short coming over here and he just missed the jump after being in the gates a long time in his first race,” Pike said.
“He’s stripped a lot fitter and worked very well this morning.
“He’s getting older now, this is his third trip to Brisbane but he’s been competitive over here for the last two seasons.
“If there’s enough speed in a race like that, then he’s always a genuine each-way chance.”
Claiming a career total of nine wins and a further two minors through thirty competitive starts, Sacred Star returned to racing in 2015 in typically smart form; winning each of the Group 1 Telegraph Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 NRM Sprint (1400m) in his homeland before crossing the ditch for fifth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and sixth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
Trialling well in the lead-up to his return this year, the Flying Spur gelding charged home to finish fourth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day before a luckless run in the Telegraph Stakes.
Running on for fourth in the NRM Sprint, Sacred Star returned to winning form in the Group 3 Darley Plate (1200m) on March 5th, in what was his only other start prior to the BTC Cup.
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