Sacred Elixir has already taken care of Melbourne’s top three-year-olds in his season return and will now have to repel a host of quality Sydney colts to win the $1 million Caulfield Guineas.
New Zealand trainer Tony Pike believes the experience Sacred Elixir gained at Caulfield winning the Guineas Prelude and the rise to 1600m will suit the gelding in his bid to add the Guineas to his Group One J J Atkins Stakes win last season.
Impending and Divine Prophet head betting at $4.40 and $4.80 respectively for Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas after running the quinella in the Stan Fox Stakes in Sydney last start while the third-placegetter from that race, Good Standing, is at $8.50.
Sacred Elixir is third favourite for the Guineas and came up with barrier seven in the field of 14 at Tuesday’s draw which Pike described as perfect.
“That’s absolutely ideal,” Pike said.
“With a horse like him, you probably didn’t want to draw too far inside. He’s obviously not going to be right behind the speed. He’s probably going to be three pairs back and it gives Damian Lane some options.
“If he stays one off the fence, we’ll just ride him depending on the tempo of the race and he should end up in a great spot.”
Sacred Elixir meets Impending (barrier 10) and Divine Prophet (barrier one) for the first time and Pike acknowledged it was hard to marry up the two form lines.
“Impending and Divine Prophet were pretty much well clear of the rest in the Stan Fox and are obviously pretty talented three-year-olds,” he said.
“Until they meet, you don’t know to be honest. Probably the only advantage is that we have had a run around Caulfield which is always a help to any horse and the other two haven’t.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. He’ll run a big race. If he’s good enough to win, that’s great, but I’m sure he won’t be too far away.”
Lane rode Sacred Elixir in a course proper gallop over 1200m on Tuesday at Flemington.
“Before the Prelude he had never actually raced left handed,” Pike said.
“He’s obviously had a practice around Caulfield. He’s going to be a lot more effective at a mile and obviously he’ll improve fitness-wise as well having been fresh-up in the Prelude.”
Good Standing, meanwhile, was taken to Caulfield on Tuesday morning and galloped in company with Thousand Guineas-bound stablemate Smart Amelia over 1400m in a hit-out trainer James Cummings expects will be great experience for the colt heading into Saturday.