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NZ Derby Hope in Better Shape

Wednesday, 15th February 2017

With the benefit of a first-up fourth in the Listed Karaka Mile, top Kiwi colt Sacred Elixir (Pour Moi-Baltika, by Stravinsky) is expected to be more competitive on his return to Ellerslie this weekend, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He will be a lot more forward on Saturday," said Cambridge trainer Tony Pike. "He's going to improve again with another run and the draws will play a part, but he shouldn't be far away." The Gr2 Avondale Guineas will round out Sacred Elixir's preparation for the $1 million Gr1 New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on 4 March. A winner of the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes in Brisbane at two, and runner-up in last season's Gr1 Victoria Derby at three, sacred Elixir is currently the $5 favourite for the Ellerslie classic ahead of Savile Row and Camino Rocoso, both $6 chances. Bred by Graham De Gruchy, Sacred Elixir is the first foal out of the Stravinsky mare Baltika, a granddaughter of De Gruchy's champion New Zealand mare Horlicks.

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