Cambridge trainer Tony Pike helped defray an expensive week in Melbourne when his filly More Than Sacred won the G3 Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie on Wednesday.
More Than Sacred (3f More Than Ready – Danalaga by Danehill) showed her staying prowess with a brave third behind Fix (Iffraaj) in the G2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa last month and she produced all of those fighting qualities to double up on Auckland Cup day.
Pike had topped Tuesday’s trade at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale when paying $300,000 for a Not A Single Doubt from Euchre (Lot 365). He also bought fillies by Street Sense and Bernardini and a colt by Good Journey at Oaklands.
“More Than Sacred is an amazing filly,” Pike said. ” She’s got a big heart on her and she looked gone at the 200 metres but came back and fought again. She takes a long time to pull up as well, so I think she will stay all day.
“The NZ Oaks is obviously a lot stronger field and it is hard to see Habibi (Ekraar) being beaten off her NZ Derby win. But if she pulls up well, we will pay a late nomination and head to Wellington.
Winning rider Mark du Plessis was also of the opinion More Than Sacred would stay the 2400m of the NZ Oaks on Saturday week. “It’s the first time I’ve ridden her and she wasn’t really that happy going right handed. But, to her credit, she fought back to win.
More Than Sacred is the 110th stakes winner by Vinery champion More Than Ready. Her dam Danalga won in Sydney and earned black-type when placed in a Murray Bridge Gold Cup.
More Than Sacred is raced by Dato Yap’s Raffles Dancers syndicate. He also owns G1 NZ 2000 Guineas winner Sacred Falls (O’Reilly). The Malaysian businessman was on course to savour the victory – he bought Danalga for $250,000 when she was carrying the Sunline Vase winner at the 2009 Magic Millions National Sale.