Hong Kong Jockey Club premiership winning jockey Zac Purton will be back aboard Sacred Elixir in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Purton guided Sacred Elixir to victory in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival during his two year old season and will be replacing Damian Lane this weekend.
Lane has been in the saddle for Sacred Elixir’s three Spring Carnival runs for two wins, including last Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Sacred Elixir’s other Spring Carnival victory came first up in the Group 3 $175,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24 before his eighth in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8.
Bruce Sherwin, the New Zealand-based representative for Sacred Elixir’s owners Raffles Racing, said that Purton always had the first call on the ride during the Spring Carnival but Saturday will be the first time he will be able to get a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“Zac has had first call on the ride all spring but this is the first time he has been able to commit due to the Hong Kong Jockey Club rules,” Sherwin told the Informant.
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike was glad to see Sacred Elixir back in the winner’s circle and said that he has pulled up well and will be right to back up in the Victoria Derby this weekend.
“He had to clear a tricky spot on the turn but it was a pretty comfortable win in the end,” Pike said.
“When I checked him over on Sunday morning he was very bright, so it’s all go for next Saturday.”
“It’s just good to see him back in winning form.”
“We could have been a little bit disappointed with his Guineas run but he got quite fired-up pre-race and just over-raced, and that was probably the telling factor.
“Hughie (Bowman on Veladero) sort of pushed him into the fence there for a while but once he got clear air there, he wobbled a bit around the corner but was really strong late.”
“All goes well for next week. We always thought he was a Derby horse – he’s got a real stayer’s pedigree. He’s just had the ability and class to compete over shorter trips.”
Sacred Elixir has cemented his spot at the top of the Victoria Derby market order at $3.40 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Team Hawkes trained Inference and Robbie Laing’s colt So Si Bon who share the next line of betting at $8.
Last start Ladbrokes Classic quinella Good Standing and Rocketeer are next in the betting at $9 just ahead of Prized Icon at $11.
Early market order for the Victoria Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Sacred Elixir, $8 Inference, So Si Bon, $9 Good Standing, Rocketeer, $11 Prized Icon, $13 Swear, $15 Beach Life, Captain Duffy, Tumultuous, $17 Kent, Morvada, $19 Highlad, $21 Veladero, $26 Retaliation, Wine Bush, $31 Hollywood Mo, $41 or more the rest.
The final field for the Victoria Derby will be released on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.