Group 1 winning Kiwi three year old Sacred Elixir has drawn the inside barrier in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike was hoping for gates five or six but was happy to come up with the rails in the sixteen horse capacity field plus four emergencies.
“The draw wasn’t so much of a concern over 2500m, we had thought five or six would have been ideal so we’re in a bit close,” Pike told racing.com.
Hong Kong based jockey Zac Purton was always in contention to be reunited with Sacred Elixir and will replace Damian Lane who has been aboard the gelding at his three Spring Carnival runs.
Lane and Sacred Elixir combined for a first up win in the Group 3 $175,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24 before an eighth in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8.
The pair were then back in the winner’s stall in claiming Group 2 $200,000 LUCRF Super Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
“Zac knows the horse well and he’s an internationally successful jockey so he can now map out a plan,” Pike said.
“It’s a shame for Damian, who has done a good job, but he knew the situation.”
Purton is no stranger to Scared Elixir, having ridden him twice during his two year old season over the Brisbane Winter Carnival for a sixth in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben followed by a win in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
The two Team Hawkes trained Victoria Derby runners had mixed results at the barrier draw with Swear coming up with barrier ten with two of the emergencies drawn inside of him while Inference has drawn the extreme outside at barrier twenty and will jump from gate sixteen when the final field is reduced to the safety capacity size on Saturday morning.
Hugh Bowman’s mount So Si Bon came up with barrier eleven and will move in two spots if all the emergencies fail to get a run and Glyn Schofield should be able to give Prized Icon the perfect run barrier five.
Trainer Chris Waller will be hoping for better luck in the run for his two Victoria Derby contenders than at the barrier draw with Wine Bush with Joao Moreira in the saddle coming up with barrier seventeen while the stablemate Tumultuous fared no better at eighteen with all four emergencies drawing inside the pair.
Sacred Elixir sits at the top of the Victoria Derby market order at $3.30 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of So Si Bon at $9.50 and Swear at $11.
Market order for the Victoria Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.30 Sacred Elixir, $9.50 So Si Bon, $11 Swear, $13 Inference, $14 Prized Icon, $15 Rocketeer, $17 Captain Duffy, $18 Beach Life, Morvada, $20 Tumultuous, $21 Wine Bush, $26 Highlad, $31 Kent, Hollywood Mo, $34 Silvera, $51 All Out Of Love, Anaheim, $71 Zoffman, $126 Peter John, Shine Tak Star.