Sacred Rebel scores on debut at Te Rapa
With bigger things in mind in the spring, Sacred Rebel’s debut at Te Rapa this afternoon was mission accomplished for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike.
A striking chestnut son of Sepoy, Sacred Rebel had shown enough promise in his two trial appearances for Pike to start thinking about spring three-year-old features.
Today’s Virkon 1200 was the chance to give the gelding some raceday experience, and if he could win it would boost his prospects of making fields for those stakes races in the spring. He got the job done in style with an impressive late lunge.
“It makes things so much easier having a win under your belt going into those three-year-old races in the spring,” Pike said. “Obviously our spring can sometimes be very wet, and trying to get enough runs on the board to get into those sorts of races can be very difficult.
“He’s got that win now, so he can have a short break and then we can start looking at those good races in the spring.”
Sacred Rebel had to work hard to earn today’s win, with Karisto and Waldorf also producing block-buster performances. Those were the two horses left standing after a flurry of horses went forward early in search of the lead.
Karisto and Waldorf were both still full of running at the top of the straight, kicking clear and setting down to fight down the finish amongst themselves. But rider Vinnie Colgan brought Sacred Rebel to the outside and the $2.30 favourite showed a smart turn of foot, quickly moving up alongside the leading pair and nailing them by a head on the line.
Karisto beat Waldorf for second by a long head, with the rest of the field more than three lengths adrift.
“He’s given two promising horses a big start at the furlong (200m) and run them down,” Pike said. “There’s still plenty to come out of this race too – he’ll improve a ton for the experience. It took him a while to balance up when he came off heels, but the last 100 metres of his race were very nice.
“He’s a promising horse heading into his three-year-old season. He’s probably going to go a bit further than 1200 metres as well, which bodes well for those three-year-old races in the spring.”
Sacred Rebel was bought for A$100,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale by owners Raffles Racing.