2016 Moonee Valley Vase Winner Sacred Elixir onto VRC Derby

Tony Pike’s Kiwi raider Sacred Elixir ran the perfect 2016 Victoria Derby lead-up on Cox Plate Day with a tight win in the Moonee Valley Vase.

Sacred Elixir

Moonee Valley Vase winner Sacred Elixir heads to the 2016 VRC Derby on the quick back-up. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The talented Pour Moi gelding won the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane as a two-year-old in the winter and was a first-up winner at Caulfield in the Prelude over 1400m.

Things went amiss when he over-raced in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) after being fired-up pre-race, but he atoned in the $200,000 Group 2 LUCRF Super Vase (2040m) third-up.

“It was good to see him back in winning form,” his Cambridge-based trainer Pike said post-race.

“Today he relaxed well and once he got clear around the straight he was strong late.

“So it all looks well for next week.”

Ridden by Damian Lane for the third time in as many starts this prep, the New Zealand-trained galloper proved he could handle extra distance despite being entitled to lose the Vase after a luckless run.

From the inside alley the Peter Jolly-trained Mossman gelding Morvada from Adelaide, racing in Melbourne and over further than a mile for the first time, went straight to the front in the Vase.

Lane meanwhile had Sacred Elixir switched off nicely third, with most of the runners tracking away from the rail.

Morvada set a solid pace throughout making for a good Derby trial.

The field bunched approaching the turn and Morvada looked under pressure, but he held well for the second to Sacred Elixir who got off balance up the middle on the straight fighting it out to hit the front 50m from the line.

Earlier the favourite Sacred Elixir got held-up approaching the 800m, got put in a pocket by the Hugh Bowman-ridden Veladero and was hampered a couple of times when probing for a run over the concluding stages.

Class prevailed in the Moonee Valley Vase results however and once the gap opened up for him, Sacred Elixir ($4.80) surged through and won well from the pacesetter Morvada ($67) at big odds in a brave on speed run.

Finishing off the Moonee Valley Vase trifecta in third was So Si Bon ($6.50) who also looks on track for a seven day turnaround on the quick back-up at Flemington next Saturday in the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m).

“Today he settled beautifully for me without the blinkers,” winning hoop Lane said of Sacred Elixir.

“As soon as we got an inch of room he burst his way through.

“He’s a beautiful Derby type and he’s got all the attributes to win that. He switches off and sprints well. He’ll be the one to beat for sure.”

Off the Vase result Sacred Elixir is sure to start favourite in Victoria Derby betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to complete the double for the first time since Efficient (2006) a decade ago.

Last year’s VRC Derby winner Tarzino (2015) also came off a run in the Vase (3rd).

New Zealanders have a strong recent record in the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s feature three-year-old staying race with Sangster (2011) and Lion Tamer (2010) back-to-back VRC Derby winners from across the Tasman.

“We always thought he was a Derby horse,” Pike said of Sacred Elixir.

“He’s got that really deep staying pedigree.

“A big roomy track like Flemington is also going to suit him down to the ground.”

To back Sacred Elixir next weekend in the Victoria Derby 2016 at Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply) head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.

2016 Moonee Valley Vase Results & Finishing Order

Moonee Valley Race 10 – 22/10/2016

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 2 SACRED ELIXIR (NZ) Tony Pike Damian Lane 6 57kg $4.60F
2 4 MORVADA Peter Jolly Steven Arnold 0.5L 1 57kg $51
3 6 SO SI BON Robbie Laing Michael Dee (a) 1.75L 4 57kg $6
4 3 VELADERO Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 2.25L 11 57kg $11
5 1 PRIZED ICON James Cummings Glyn Schofield 5L 2 57kg $6.50
6 11 HARLOW GOLD (NZ) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Regan Bayliss (a) 5.2L 10 55kg $6.50
7 5 SILVERA Tony McEvoy Kerrin McEvoy 5.6L 9 57kg $10
8 9 SAYONARAMOSA (NZ) Ciaron Maher Mark Zahra 6.85L 5 57kg $81
9 7 RETALIATION John O’Shea James McDonald 10.1L 3 57kg $16
10 8 WIMBORNE Robbie Laing Dwayne Dunn 13.35L 8 57kg $101
SB 10 WHISPERING BROOK Simon A Miller Nicholas Hall 7 55kg

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