Racing: Pike looks for Eagle Farm double

By Mike Dillon

Provocative and Sacred Elixir could snaffle two group ones between them
Sacred Elixir (outside) is favourite on both sides of the Tasman in the JJ Atkins today. Photo / Trish Dunell
Sacred Elixir (outside) is favourite on both sides of the Tasman in the JJ Atkins today. Photo / Trish Dunell

Lee and Anthony Freedman are chuffed over winning two group one races so far at the lengthy Queensland winter carnival - Tony Pike stands a great chance of achieving the same feat in 80 minutes at Eagle Farm this afternoon.

Pike can walk away with the A$645,000 JJ Atkins and the A$500,000 Queensland Oaks during the massive four group ones raceday to inaugurate Eagle Farm's A$50 million revamp.

Pike's classy 2-year-old Sacred Elixir is favourite on both sides of the Tasman at $3.80 on the New Zealand TAB. The closest is James McDonald's mount Souchez at $4.60.

We still don't know just how good Sacred Elixir might end up being, but it's clear he's exceptional. He walked home in his Caloundra Australian debut then found the tight Doomben circuit against him and the 1600m JJ Atkins today is what he's been looking for. He looks like being an outstanding 3-year-old next season.

Provided Provocative can get reasonable luck early from her exceptionally wide barrier her impressive staying powers should come into play late in the 2400m Queensland Oaks.

Tony Pike declares the additional week allowed by last week's washout meeting has assisted the filly.

This is a very open race with Bjorn Baker's Imposing Lass and Falkenberg together with Provocative on $7. Should be an interesting race and luck will play a massive part.

New Zealand can play a major role in a supporting race, the A$180,000 QTC Cup with Perfect Fit who will be trying for four straight wins and for five from her last six. She has led and kicked away in her New Zealand wins, but that will not be as easy with the extreme speed of the Australians over 1300m.

The gallant Volkstok'n'barrell has to shoulder a clear 2.5kg topweight of 61kg in the A$100,000 Wayne Wilson, no easy task.

At home at Te Rapa, Battle Time (No2, R8), the unluckiest runner over three days at Ellerslie, looks a great prospect to pick up a nice concession. He rattled home at Ellerslie after being blocked and will be assisted this time with a 3kg claim via Zy Nor Azman. Eprouvez (No11) may not be finished with his form yet.

Majestic Champion (No1, R3) comes in fresh and is well placed in the weights. He has had two trials to fit him for this and will be forward to resume. The prospect of a reasonable track will aid his chances.

Poker Face (No3) got home usefully on debut and makes some appeal.

The 1600m looked a fraction short for Our King Sway (No7, R4) at Ellerslie last start and he should benefit from the step up to a middle distance. He is more than useful. Call Me Royal (No3) is in magnificent form. He races forward and has the draw to take advantage.

Look for the possibility of another all-the-way victory.

Race 5 is tricky, but the well bred Twinkles (No7) impressed greatly working away late from her maiden opposition at Hastings last time.

This is a fair bit tougher, but she looks the type to step up.

Stablemate Sure Enough (No6) is a danger and Doucette (No5) is the value runner. The middle distance will suit.

Blue Wagon (No2, R6) has had a couple of starts back from a break and should be ready to show something. Debut winner Ladies First (No10) looks promising.

You had to like the way Roc De Bank (No7, R7) fought hard for his close second at Ellerslie and he rates right up there in this field.

Royal Success (No11) is a must for multiple takers.

Terrifique (No2, R9) made an impression winning a maiden fresh last start at Te Aroha. The TAB's fixed odds yesterday were a touch restrictive, but she may ease a fraction today.

- NZ Herald

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