Racing: Rivals should bow to Sacred Falls

Sacred Falls, who is an outstanding prospect for the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton tomorrow. Photo by Trish Dunell.
Sacred Falls, who is an outstanding prospect for the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton tomorrow. Photo by Trish Dunell.
Sacred Falls should maintain his unbeaten record when he contests the $400,000 New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton tomorrow.

Sacred Falls is unbeaten in five starts and showed his outstanding ability when he recorded a phenomenal effort to win the Hawkes Bay Guineas two starts back.

The O'Reilly colt stumbled at the start at Hastings. His rider, Leith Innes, who has ridden him in all his races, allowed him time to gather in the field and work his way to a challenging position in the home straight. He continued his sustained run to beat Riccarton rival Southern Lord by a length and a-quarter. Those who saw the race were grasping for superlatives after the performance.

Sacred Falls ran the 1400m that day in the splendid time of 1.21.13.

Scared Falls, trained by Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue at Cambridge, won his two starts at two and followed with a first-up success at three at Ruakaka in a smart 1.09.60 for the 1200m.

He has not raced since he won the Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa 17 days ago, fighting determinedly to beat Rollout The Carpet by a long neck.

Sacred Falls (named after a waterfall in Hawaii) should now be ready to cope with the 1600m on the searching Riccarton track.

He is bred get over ground.

His grand-dam, Iguazu (named after a waterfall in Brazil), won the Australasian Oaks in 1999.

The daughter of Carolingian numbered the Canterbury Belle Stakes, White Robe Lodge Handicap and the Gore Guineas among her 12 wins from the Riccarton stable of Peter and Dawn Williams.

Trainer Jason Bridgman believes either of his runners, Warhorse or Irish Rebel, can beat Sacred Falls, The New Zealand Herald reportsAlthough Sacred Falls beat Warhorse more than four lengths at Te Rapa on October 22, Bridgman says the General Nediym colt had excuses.

"He was never really comfortable on the surface and never got racing room locked in on the rail the whole way," Bridgman said.

"He's a horse who needs to get out in the open to let down so combined with being uncomfortable in the ground we just ruled a line through the run."

Bridgman can not fault the condition of the horse.

"On the positive side of it he's come through it 100%. He didn't have a hard run and is raring to go for the Guineas."

The only concern Bridgman has with Warhorse, who races with an extravagantly high head carriage, is that he might be suspect at the 1600m.

"If he's ever going to get the trip it's the first time he does it. I can't fault him going into it, so barring a rough trip, he'll have no excuse if he doesn't stay a mile."

Irish Rebel returns to the top level after a fresh-up second in a modest rating 75 at Hastings over 1400m on October 25.

The Danehill Dancer colt, who will be ridden by Hayden Tinsley for the first time, is ready for the task.

Last season he was group-placed behind Warhorse in the Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie and a late-closing fourth in the Manawatu Sires Produce in which Warhorse ran third.

Bridgman also believes he is the one best suited to the 1600m.

"He's a horse I think will end up a Derby horse," Bridgman said. "One prep run is also adequate given that he is a staying type of horse - he'll need to be sharp enough for a mile.

"Good ground, big track, second-up over a mile will suit him absolutely down to the ground. His work was first-class this week and I can't fault him condition-wise."