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Guineas A Derby Stepping Stone For Surely Sacred

Wednesday, 13th February 2019

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike saddles up two runners in Saturdays Gr2 Schweppes Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie, and is hopeful that 3YO gelding Surely Sacred (Rock ’n’ Pop-Not Sure, by Masterclass) can add another Classic win to his record after taking out the Gr2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. Surely Sacred is a half-brother to the dam of Provocative, who Pike trained to win the Gr1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) in 2016, and Pike is optimistic about the future of this consistently competitive gelding. Unplaced only once in his four starts after an unlucky run for fifth in the Karaka 3YO Classic (1600m), this is the first time the gelding will step up to 2100m, and Pike will use Saturday’s race as a testing ground ahead of the Gr1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) next month. “I think the 2100m will suit him, being out of Provocative’s family. He looks like a nice horse heading forward to the Derby,” Pike told NZ Racing Desk. The trainer is less buoyant about his other chance in Saturdays race, Rippa Eagle (Rip Van Winkle-Penny Whistle, by O’Reilly), who he wants to test in Classic company after a fair third in a midweek BM72 over 2000m. “It’s really a roll of the dice on Saturday to see if he will stay the 2100m against the better three-year-olds. If he does, then he will press on towards the Derby.”

Surely Sacred

Surely Sacred (pic: Trish Dunell)
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