New Zealand Oaks winning mare More Than Sacred joins Robert Smerdon’s Victorian stables this spring for one final preparation targeting the 2014 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups before retiring to serve as a broodmare.
Kiwi import More Than Sacred will feature in Tuesday’s nomination for the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) with updated Ladbrokes.com.au markets due out this afternoon.
She also targets the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) in her first and last campaign with Smerdon in Melbourne.
Previously prepared at Cambridge in NZ by Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue, the More Than Ready five-year-old was last seen running a brave third to Who Shot Thebarman after a wide run in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie in early March.
Another more famous two-mile Cup showdown could now be on the cards later this year for More Than Sacred with the 2014 Melbourne Cup to run at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 4.
Winner of the 2013 New Zealand Oaks, she travelled down under as a three-year-old during the 2013 autumn carnival where she ran in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
It was a disasterous result however as she failed on the Heavy (10) track and finished 26.5 lengths away ninth, of 10 runners, behind Royal Descent who thrived in the mud.
Since then she’s won two of her nine starts over the following 16 months and is earmarked for the breeding barn at the end of this preparation where her Japanese owner Katsumi Yoshida has scheduled a date with champion sire Deep Impact.
Yoshida also has a share in the former Smerdon-trained 2011 Crown Oaks winnner Mosheen who won four Group 1 races during her 18 start career.
She’ll spend her final months racing with Smerdon who hopes she can develop into a nice Spring Cups type before her retirement.
He’s still mapping out her path, but he’s eager for her to race in the traditional Cup lead-ups with a likely return in the coming four weeks.
“With the timing, the opportunity is there to have a spring preparation so we’ll see how she comes up,” Smerdon told AAP.
“If she comes up well enough, she’ll be heading towards the Cups.”
She was set to trial at Cranbourne on Monday but the rain-affected track saw Smerdon save her for firmer going.
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