Kiwi sprinter Sacred Star is expected to take a lot of benefit from his first up run in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Scared Star hasn’t raced since winning the Group 3 NZ$100,000 Darley Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie in New Zealand on March 5 and even though the six year old has won first up on three occasions from eight attempts, the Tony Pike stable can see him improving fitness wise with Saturday’s run under his belt.
“We are very pleased with the horse but he is probably going to need to run (in the BTC Cup) given he hasn’t raced for a couple of months,’’ Pike stable representative Don Sellwood told The Courier-Mail.
Pike will also wait to see how he handles the classy line up in the BTC Cup before confirming a start in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 and in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm two weeks later.
“Sacred Star’s done really well, but it’s a hot race and we’ll have to wait and see how he goes against these top sprinters,” Pike said.
“It’s a very strong field and if he can run in the money we would be very happy and continue on the Group One path or we can always drop him back.”
This year is Sacred Star’s third visit to the Brisbane Winter Carnival and the Flying Spur gelding tasted success on his first trip when he won the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm during the 2014 Carnival.
Sacred Star has since won twice at Group 1 level on his home turf with victories in the NZ$250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham and in the NZ$200,000 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa during the 2015 Summer.
Leading Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne takes the ride on Sacred Star who has drawn barrier seven and is considered one of the outsiders of the fourteen horse BTC Cup field at $31 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Chris Waller trained Japonisme has firmed into favouritism at $4.20, displacing Fell Swoop who is on the second line of betting at $4.40.
BTC Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Japonisme, $4.40 Fell Swoop, $6 Malaguerra, $8.50 Artlee, $9 Counterattack, $13 Dothraki, $14 Delectation, Charlie Boy, $15 Target In Sight, $31 Scared Star, Two Blue, $41 Echo Gal, $51 Stratum Star, $101 Liberation.