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Sacred Falls kept his unbeaten record intact when he came from second-last on the home turn to win the $400,000 New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday.
It was the sixth win from as many starts for the O'Reilly colt, who will now be spelled for six weeks before being set for a campaign in Sydney at Easter. A race like the Rosehill Guineas could enhance his stud value.
It was the first time his Hong Kong principal-owner Dato Yap Kim San, a Malaysian construction millionaire, had been at a meeting to see his 3yr-old race.
He races Sacred Falls from the Cambridge stable of Tony Pike (37) and Mark Donoghue.
It was the first win in the Guineas for the trainers and rider Leith Innes.
Sacred Falls was sent around the field on the home turn in a patient ride by Innes, who has been aboard in all his wins.
He came seven wide on the turn and was followed at every stride by the only filly in the race, Oasis Rose.
The pair reeled in the leaders at the 150m and along with Warhorse they fought out a three-way tussle to the line.
Sacred Falls, employing his great will to win, took a narrow advantage nearing the line and held off a gallant Oasis Rose by a head, with a neck to Warhorse.
The win took his stake earnings to $378,435.
A $160,000 yearling purchase, Sacred Falls is out of Iguazu's Girl, a Redoute's Choice mare, who won twice from the stable of Peter and Dawn Williams for Waikato Stud, which bred Sacred Falls.
The Pike and Donoghue hopes of a Guineas double at the carnival have been buoyed with the news yesterday that Oasis Rose will not back up in the New Zealand One Thousand Guineas next Saturday.
The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained filly is being set for a Sydney campaign, culminating in the AJC Oaks.
Waterford will represent the Pike-O'Donoghue stable in the $300,000 group one feature.
"She'll be a really good chance in the guineas," Pike said.
"She was third in the Gold Trail off a tough run. She was three deep the trip that day, and then she ran fifth in the Sarten behind Sacred Falls at Te Rapa.
"She got a long way back and hit the line strongly."
The meeting was put back one race after a TAB computer fault affected betting before the first race.
Kelly Myers was suspended for three riding days for careless riding at Riccarton on Saturday.
Myers admitted allowing her mount in race 2, Darci Coup, to shift out and check Anna Karenina early in the run home.
Myers is out from Sunday and can resume riding on Friday, November 22.
Apprentice Samantha Wynne was suspended for two riding days after admitting shifting out on Semper Plus in race 6 and crowding Urunga, Platinum Dancer and Likeapins.
Her suspension is from yesterday and she can resume riding on Sunday.
Trainer Leo Molly advised stewards that Rough Odds (Pegasus Stakes) had bitten through his tongue tie which was removed prior to the start. Rough Odds finished fourth.
Shohei Shirahama, Cameron Lammas and Lynsey Satherley were suspended at Te Rapa on Saturday.