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Star Partnership Seeking More Success
Tony Pike will bid to take his Gr1 tally for owners Raffles Racing to six when Sacred Star (Flying Spur-Irish Nova, by O'Reilly) contests tomorrow's $750,000 Gr1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) in Brisbane, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge trainer has formed a potent partnership with Raffles principals Dato Yap Kim San and Yap Kian Tat in recent years, assisted by his close friendship with Raffles' manager Bruce Sherwin. Top-class galloper Sacred Falls kicked off Gr1 success for Pike and Raffles Racing when he went six-for-six in taking out the NZ 2,000 Guineas at Riccarton in 2012 before the O'Reilly stallion was transferred to Chris Waller in Sydney. Since then, More Than Sacred has won the New Zealand Oaks, Sacred Star has added the Telegraph and NRM Sprint and Rock Diva triumphed in the Auckland Cup. "We've had a great run," Pike said. "I've only been training for them for probably the last four years and we've had five Gr1 winners for them." He added, "They are great owners to work with. They buy good horses and get the results on the racetrack and that's fantastic." While Pike is keen to ensure that success continues this weekend, getting Sacred Star to the Doomben 10,000 hasn't been without its setbacks. He was set to have his first run back in the Gr1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben a fortnight ago, but walked out of his box lame only hours before the race. "It was an unfortunate hiccup, but it doesn't appear to have been anything major," Pike said. "He was sound within a couple of days and didn't miss any work. His work through the week has been good so it's all systems go for Saturday."