More Than Sacred To Feature In Australian Oaks Field 2013

Exciting Kiwi filly More Than Sacred will this Saturday attempt a trans-Tasman Oaks double, the New Zealand Oaks winner to have her down under debut in the 2013 Australian Oaks at Royal Randwick’s Doncaster Mile Day.

Prepared in Cambridge by Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue the daughter of More Than Ready has won her pat two races on the trot enjoying getting up in distance firstly for the Group 3 Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie and then her smart two length victory when too good for her rivals in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 16.

One of 72 official three-year-olds nominated for this year’s $550,000 Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) connections have confirmed More Than Sacred will be accepted for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic after she worked well back home on Tuesday morning.

“She worked really well this morning and all going well over the next two days she will fly over on Thursday night,” co-trainer Pike told AAP on Tuesday.

The Australian Oaks 2013 is shaping up then as a scintillating showdown between two Group 1 winning Kiwi raiders with the early favourite being fellow New Zealander Habibi, the NZ Derby champion having run third to Norzita in their first Australian run on Golden Slipper Day in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).

Pike is excited to be facing the other best staying filly getting around in NZ this weekend too saying that they hadn’t actively avoided a clash with Habibi but that they had been on different paths until this.

“Our filly came through late in the season and while Habibi headed down the road to the Derby and we went to the Oaks,” Pike said.

Stay tuned to to view the Australian Oaks 2013 final field and barrier draw to be released shortly.

While Habibi’s Vinery effort was the perfect Oaks trial giving her a good advantage fitness-wise, Pike said that her diminutive stature meant More Than Sacred didn’t need an extra run before her big test.

“She’s a lightly framed filly who doesn’t take a huge amount of work so the four weeks between runs isn’t a concern,” he said.

What would work in her favour would be a firm track at Randwick for Doncaster Day like the Dead rating for last Saturday’s Australian Derby Day meet, Randwick currently rated in the Slow range have rain early in the week.

“She galloped between races last Saturday at Te Aroha on a slow track and she got through it OK,” Pike said.

“But all of her best form has been on firm ground so (a wet track) is a relative unknown for her.

“If there is a plus side, a slow track is going to make it more of a staying test and that will help her.”

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