Sacred Falls maintained his outstanding record over the Royal Randwick mile with a strong victory in the 2014 George Main Stakes this afternoon.
Sacred Falls started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with fourth place finishes in both the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and had been set to peak third-up in the George Main Stakes – just like he did during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when he took out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) third-up.
Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton returned to Australia to partner Sacred Falls in the George Main Stakes and he gave the O’Reilly entire another excellent ride to steer him to victory from stablemate Royal Descent and tough front-runner Laser Hawk.
Purton has ridden Group 1 winners right around the world and is the reigning champion jockey in Hong Kong, but the leading hoop said that he was thrilled to finally get opportunities at the highest level in Australia.
“He is a terrific horse and Chris has done a great job with him,” Purton said.
“He loves the mile here and full credit to him.
“I haven’t had the opportunities, but I have been going well around the world and it is good to have them back here now.
“I didn’t have to worry about anything and I knew that Chris would get him right.
“He was building up for this race and it was just a matter of getting the right run and we have done that.”
Sacred Falls has previously produced his best form in Australia on rain affected tracks, taking out the Doncaster Mile on two occasions on a heavy Royal Randwick track, but Waller has always been of the opinion that the five-year-old was not just a wet tracker.
Waller said that the plan had always been to have Sacred Falls peaking third-up in the George Main Stakes and he indicated that the four-time Group 1 winner would now head to Melbourne for a Cox Plate (2040m) tilt.
“He is a very good horse and it was good to see him win today on a good track,” Waller said.
“He is not just a wet-tracker; prior to coming to me he won a Group 1 in New Zealand on a pretty firm track and he showed Australia today that he is not just a wet tracker it is as simple as that.
“That is his fourth Group 1 victory now, all at a mile, so what more can you ask.
“It is just good when a plan comes off because he has been set for the race as soon as they said they were going to continue racing him.
“They are always there to win first and second-up, but how can you really screw them down when you need to be going towards races like today and races like the Cox Plate.”
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2014 George Main Stakes Results
|1||1||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||–||1||59kg||$4F|
|2||6||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1.3L||2||57kg||$6.50|
|3||4||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||Tye Angland||1.8L||9||59kg||$61|
|4||2||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||2.5L||4||59kg||$8.50|
|5||10||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||Brenton Avdulla||2.6L||8||50.5kg||$4.80|
|6||7||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||2.7L||6||56.5kg||$6.50|
|7||8||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||James McDonald||3.4L||7||56.5kg||$14|
|8||3||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Corey Brown||3.6L||3||59kg||$8.50|
|9||9||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||4.4L||10||56.5kg||$26|
|10||5||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Chris Munce||9.8L||5||58.5kg||$15|