Promising three-year-old Sacred Day is on Tony Pike’s Queensland winter carnival short list.
The son of Azamour has impressed in a short career and is a contender for a spot in the Cambridge trainer’s travelling party.
“He’s had a week in the paddock to freshen up and we’ll be looking at Brisbane with him, depending how he comes up again,” Pike said.
Sacred Day was a runaway maiden winner at Hawke’s Bay last month before he finished runner-up against the older horses over 2000m at Poverty Bay and in his latest appearance he got home strongly for third over a mile at Ellerslie.
“He’ll run at Te Aroha in the three-year-old race on Breeders’ Stakes day over 1400m and after that we’ll make some firm plans,” Pike said.
The Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) winner Magic Chai is another possible Brisbane contender following a luckless outing in the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).
“It was too slowly-run for him and Damian (Browne) knew that, at the 1000m he got pushed into the rail and then he had no choice but to take off around them and he really had no chance,” Pike said.
“Under the circumstances it was a pretty solid run and he’s come through it well. We might look at Brisbane, we’ll just wait and see how things pan out in the next few weeks.”
Meanwhile, proven traveller Sacred Master is making the right moves in the early stages of his preparation.
“He had his first gallop last week and we’ll bring him up slowly, he’s another that we may possibly look at Brisbane with,” Pike said.
The six-year-old has won six times for the stable, including the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m), and finished third in the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) before a stint with Chris Waller in Sydney.
Sacred Master won the Gr.3 Newcastle Cup (2200m) for the champion trainer and was fourth in the Gr.1 Metropolitan (2400m) before returning to New Zealand.