Triple Group 1 winner Sacred Falls has produced a slightly disappointing effort in a barrier trial over 1050 metres at Royal Randwick yesterday.
Sacred Falls was settled at the tail of the four horse field in the early stages of the barrier trial and Gai Waterhouse-trained Excess Knowledge took up the running at a very slow pace from Kirramosa and Avoid Lightning.
Excess Knowledge picked up the pace coming around the final turn and jockey Hugh Bowman asked Sacred Falls for an extra effort, but he was unable to respond and was outsprinted by his rivals to finish the trial at the tail of the field.
Sacred Falls was making his first public appearance since he finished towards the tail of the field in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and he will likely have at least one more barrier trial before he returns to the races.
The O’Reilly entire has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), but he is expected to remain in Sydney for his autumn campaign and will have the chance to score an historic third straight victory in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
Kirramosa is also on track to return to the races and she showed a good turn-of-foot to run away from Excess Knowledge and hold-off Avoid Lightning in the final stages of the barrier trial.
The Alamosa mare won the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but she missed the autumn last year due to a fetlock issue and she was unable to record a race win in the spring.
Kirramosa was sent to the spelling paddock after she suffered a hamstring injury in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 11, but trainer John Sargent is confident that the mare has recovered from injury and he is hopeful that the four-year-old can be competitive in races like the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Avoid Lightning was not hard ridden to the line, but she was still almost able to catch Kirramosa in the shadows of the post in what was her second barrier trial this preparation.
The Blevic mare was given just the one race start during the spring, taking out the Group 3 Nivision (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 18 and she has not missed the placings in her past six race starts.