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Comparisons easy after Sacred Park makes impressive debut

May 21, 2013

The lead question was obvious after the latest Sacred member of the Raffles Racing team stepped out with a winning debut performance at Te Rapa yesterday.

Almost a year to the day after Sacred Falls had made a similarly impressive debut, Sacred Park looked destined for higher honours when he came from well off the pace to score a three and a quarter-length win in the Crombie Lockwood Premier. Like Sacred Falls the Thorn Park colt had been to the trials twice, most recently when winning over 800 metres at Cambridge last month.

Sacred Falls followed his Ruakaka debut on May 16 last year with another win at Te Rapa in June. Put aside until the spring, the O’Reilly colt went on to win the Gr. 1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas and after being transferred to Sydney, signed off his three-year-old season by defeating star local colt Pierro in the Gr. 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick.

Asked how Sacred Park compares with Sacred Falls, co-trainer Tony Pike admits that, given the evidence thus far, it’s easy to think that Raffles have another potential star on their hands.

“He’s a lovely type of colt and that was an impressive performance, but he’s perhaps not as natural galloper as Sacred Falls. It doesn’t come as easy to him, but that’s not a bad thing given he still won well against some pretty smart two-year-olds.”

The leggy bay with strength to match would have raced earlier but for showing signs of shin soreness after his first trial back in December, something Pike was mindful of yesterday in making immediate plans.

“We’ll just see how he comes through this run and take it from there, but I’d like to think we’ve got the material to follow the same spring programme as the other colt.”

Sacred Park, a $110,000 purchase from Mapperley Stud’s 2012 Karaka Select draft, is out the Danske mare Dosh, a sister to the Lowland Stakes winner Molta and from the family of New Zealand Oaks winner Staring and her classy grandson (It’s A) Dundeel.

The Pike-Donoghue-Raffles combination came up with another talent later on yesterday’s programme in the shape of Foxspur, who went one better than his debut second with a plucky win in the Warren Storm Lifebrokers Premier. 

The three-year-old gelding, who cost $140,000 from Trelawney Stud’s 2012 Karaka Premier draft, is by Flying Spur from the New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Foxwood.

Both Sacred Park and Foxspur were ridden by Mark Du Plessis, who took his season tally to 105 wins by riding the final winner on the Te Rapa card, Mistaar. 

Story and picture: The Informant