JJ Atkins winning Kiwi youngster Sacred Elixir will chase a rare three-year-old’s double this spring heading towards the VRC Derby via a run in the Caulfield Guineas 2016.
No horse has won both races during their three-year-old season since Helenus (2002), but New Zealand horseman Tony Pike hopes his Pour Moir gelding can be the next.
Sacred Elixir had six runs as a juvenile for three wins and a second.
His last start was in Brisbane on June 11 when making a successful raid on Eagle Farm’s Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) over the mile.
He blitzed his rivals running away with the JJ Atkins win by three and a half lengths, and connections immediately had him pegged as a Derby hope.
The Cambridge-based Pike confirmed plans this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival to set Sacred Elixir for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on October 29.
In the lead-up however he’ll chase an earlier Group 1 win in the $1 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, kicking off his Melbourne bid with a first-up run in the Prelude on September 24.
“At this stage he’ll kick off in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, and head to the Caulfield Guineas,” Pike told Racing Victoria this week.
“Obviously how he performs in those two will decide what we do after that.
“His pedigree suggests he should get the Derby distance quite easily.
“He’s ran at a mile as a two-year-old, so we thought we’d run in the Caulfield Guineas in case he doesn’t stay for one reason or not.
“Obviously he’s got a bit of brilliance.
“We’ll attack the Caulfield Guineas first, then obviously the Victoria Derby looks a nice target at the end of the carnival.”
Peter & Paul Snowden’s Golden Slipper winner Capitalist is equal early favourite with Sacred Elixir in futures Caulfield Guineas odds.
Team Snowden won the Caulfield Guineas two years ago with Shooting To Win who came off a Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) win at Rosehill, the same double the Chris Waller-trained Press Statement (2015) completed last year.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden also took out the Caulfield Guineas with Helmet (2011) and Long John (2013) when he was head trainer for Darley Australia – now Godolphin.
The last Caulfield Guineas winner to come out of the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) that Sacred Elixir runs in this season was the aforementioned Long John (3rd) in 2013.
Kiwi-trained three-year-olds meanwhile have a strong recent record in the Victoria Derby winning in 2010 (Lion Tamer) and 2011 (Sangster).
The last Caulfield Guineas winner to continue onto the Victoria Derby during the Melbourne Cup Carnival was Whobegotyou (2008) who ran second to Rebel Raider as the beaten $1.75 odds-on favourite.
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