Sacred Elixir booked his place in the field for the Karaka Million when he flew home for a nose victory over The Soultaker (Iffraaj) in the Countdown to Karaka Million 1200 at Ellerslie today.
The Pour Moi gelding had been beaten by a nose in his only previous start, producing a similar late burst at Ellerslie on December 28 but coming up just short against the classy O’Rachael (Northern Meteor).
Today the bob of the head went Sacred Elixir’s way as he charged home from midfield with giant strides, drawing up alongside the last-start stakes winner The Soultaker and nailing his determined rival right on the finish line.
“The Soultaker fought back and I thought we’d been out-bobbed again,” relieved trainer Tony Pike said after the race. “But he got the win and he’s in the Karaka Million field now.”
Pike admits to being surprised at Sacred Elixir’s feats in his two starts this season. By the Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi and out of a granddaughter of Horlicks, his best was expected to come later in his career.
“He’s a big, strong boy and we didn’t think he would come this far as a two-year-old,” the Cambridge trainer said. “He’s still a bit green. We might try putting blinkers on for the Karaka Million.”
A son of the Stravinsky mare Baltika, Sacred Elixir was offered by Wentwood Grange at last year’s Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka. Raffles Racing and Mulcaster Bloodstock secured him for $170,000.
Today’s win in the $20,000 event saw Sacred Elixir become the second southern hemisphere winner for first season sire Pour Moi, who shuttled to Windsor Park Stud. His first winner was the highly regarded Lisa Latta-trained Just You.
Sacred Elixir’s Karaka Million odds have tightened to $7, now the fourth favourite behind Manolo Blahniq ($2.80), O’Reilly Cyrus ($6) and The Soultaker ($6).
Co-trainer Donna Logan was satisfied with the performance of The Soultaker today, who missed a start in last week’s Eclipse Stakes due to an elevated temperature.
Pour Moi has 36 yearlings catalogued for sale at this month's New Zealand Blood Stock Yearling Sales Series at Karaka.