The Soultaker, winner of Saturday's Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie, is sold to Hong Kong pending a veterinary test today.

A deal was agreed to before Saturday's feature on the basis of win, lose or draw, provided the talented grey did not turn in a shocker.

The Soultaker is part owned by racecaller George Simon and his wife Maryanne, along with longtime clients of co-trainer Donna Logan.

Late on Saturday the 3-year-old was floated to Cambridge, where he will undergo today bank of tests.


"It's a bit of a shame, but that's the name of the game these days, money talks," said Logan's training partner Chris Gibbs.

"Will he run the Derby distance? Well, we really don't know yet. If he fails to pass the vet test we'd be happy to continue with him."

The Soultaker showed he would be a great buy when he displayed remarkable heart to sprint determinedly through the unsuitable heavy footing in the closing 300m. So powerful was he travelling he put a break on the filly Hello M'Lady, who swept up wide approaching the home bend and looked certain to win.

Pre-race Chris Gibbs walked through the home-straight footing and asked rider Mark Du Plessis to try and stay on the inside through the dying stages. "It was a good call from Chris," said Du Plessis.

The Logan/Gibbs stable sent Livamol Classic runner Hasselhoof out for an exhibition gallop between races on Saturday accompanied by stablemate Candle In The Wind.

"Matt Cameron was very happy with Hasselhoof," said Gibbs. "He had to tap him up to stay with the mare and we're happy with that because she's an excellent trackworker and we knew she'd drag him up to do the work he needed. Matt said he had a bit of a heave, but his heart rate came back very quickly, so he's where we need him."

The Soultaker may be just about gone, but the stable has Windspelle and Mongolian Falcon going south for the Hawke's Bay Guineas on Saturday. "That gives us an excellent representation," said Gibbs.

Trainer Tony Pike was as taken aback as the punters who shunned the $9 odds about Sacred Elixir in Saturday's A$175,000 Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on Saturday.

Pike thought Sacred Elixir would get lost over a too-short 1400m around the tight Caulfield circuit in his first start on the way to the 2500m Victoria Derby at Flemington.

"But we'll take it [A$105,000 first prize]," said Pike yesterday.

Caulfield is not an easy track to come from off the speed unless the race has been run at a hectic clip, but Sacred Elixir finished powerfully under Damian Lane to grab Revolving Door to win by a long neck.

"If the race had been at Flemington I would have been a bit confident, but the way he races I thought Caulfield might trip him up," said Pike.

The win promoted Sacred Elixir to second favourite for the Caulfield Guineas and outright favouritism for the Victoria Derby. Victory in both would see Sacred Elixir collect A$2 million in four Australian starts since early June.

But matters could change slightly if he won the Caulfield Guineas with style. "He still holds a nomination for the Cox Plate and if he wins the Guineas that would be an option, but he'd have to be very dominant at Caulfield."

If not the Vase at Moonee Valley will be his Derby lead-up.

Pike was impressed with Lane's ride. "He managed to get him through from an awkward spot and be there to challenge on the home turn.

"They hadn't gone particularly quick up front and he gave him plenty of time to balance up before he asked him. It was a good ride."

Fellow New Zealander Saracino, the Danehill Stakes winner previously, was a shade unlucky. From an inside barrier he and Damien Oliver received a beautiful trail behind the leaders, but found themselves stuck behind a wall of horses 200m out. When the gap opened Saracino worked home nicely to be one length away from the winner in fifth place, suggesting the 1600m of the Guineas was not beyond him.

Luna Rossa, La Luna Rossa in Australia, did well to finish a half-length second to Legless Veuve in the A$200,000 1000 Guineas Prelude.

Xtravagant is racing 20 lengths below his best and no one knows why.

The horse's 12th of the 13 runners in Saturday's Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield once again has his connections shaking their heads.

"This is a horse that won two group ones as a 3-year-old by a collective 16 lengths," said Te Akau principal David Ellis yesterday.

Everyone has an opinion. One of the most popular is that Xtravagant has his mind on being a stallion, rather than the racetrack, but it's one that David Ellis completely dismisses.

"He's not actually a colty horse when you get to know him like we do. He can be colty when he's very fresh in his first start in a preparation, but then he settles right down.

"Damien Oliver said he went down to the start feeling fantastic yesterday, but he's not putting in like we know he can. We have one of the best trackwork riders in Australia, Kerry Jones, who cannot identify anything when riding him work. Neither can Damien Oliver.

"The only thing that's obvious is that he won't get on the correct leg when he's asked. We've got the best jockeys, the best blacksmiths and the best vets on the job and they can't come up with anything. Something is not quite right and the bottom line is we're not sure what it is."

Weekend round-up

• Ellerslie winner The Soultaker has been sold to Hong Kong.

• Derby aspirant Scared Elixir stunned Caulfield racegoers.

• Sprinter Xtravagant continues to shock his connections.