Group 1 NZ Oaks winner More Than Sacred began the build-up for her season-opener with a pleasing trial at Cambridge on Tuesday.
Trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue have been biding their time with the More Than Ready mare while waiting for the wet tracks to dissipate. She trialled over 1200 metres on a Slow 9 at her home track and went “enormous” according to Pike. “Leith (Innes) had a big hold and she travelled beautifully on the bridle.”
More Than Sacred finished second behind Happyto Keepa and was the last runner to pull up. “She doesn’t like wet tracks and that’s why we have been marking time,” Pike added. “We plan to give her a reasonably soft spring and concentrate on the G2 Waikato Gold Cup.”
The Cambridge based filly broke her maiden at Te Rapa in January and snared the LR Sunline Vase before dominating her rivals in the G1 NZ Oaks at Trentham in March. She crossed the Tasman for a crack at the G1 Australian Oaks but bogged down in heavy going behind Royal Descent.
“She will probably kick off at Ellerslie on September 28 or at Hawke’s Bay on October 5,” Pike said. “The Waikato Gold Cup is an ideal race for her in December.”
More Than Sacred (4m More Than Ready – Danalaga by Danehill) is raced by Dato Yap’s Raffles Dancers syndicate. The Malaysian businessman bought Danalga in foal to More Than Ready for $250,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions National Sale.