Cambridge trainer Tony Pike gave Sacred Master (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) a glowing report in the wake of his latest success at Ellerslie.
He prepared Rock Diva (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn) to win the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup earlier this year and believes his new stable staying star can emulate her deeds.
“He could be every bit as good as her,” Pike said. ”He’s still doing a few things wrong and he’s only going to get better.”
Sacred Master won for the fourth time in his nine start career on Saturday when he overcame a tardy beginning to dash away with the Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier and remain on target for the final event of the series on New Year’s Day.
“That looks the logical race for him and he’ll tell us whether we come back for it,” Pike said.
Already as short as $14 for next year’s Auckland Cup, Sacred Master settled off the pace and lengthened stride impressively in the closing 200 metres to comfortably beat his barn mate Maid Of Steel (NZ) (Guillotine).
“She went super, but she ran into a very, very good stayer,” Pike said.
Leith Innes has ridden Sacred Master in all of his wins and he is confident major race success awaits the four-year-old.
“The stablemate gave a good kick, but this is a pretty smart horse – he’s going to win a good one,” he said.