Joe Lau’s New Zealand-bred galloper Sacred Capital has confirmed his place as Macau’s Derby favourite with another assertive win in Saturday’s Class 1 & 2 over 1500m.
With regular rider Peter Ho in the saddle, Sacred Capital hit the line too well for Éclair Sunshine to win by a neck, with last year’s Derby runner up Royal Garden running on for third.
While the winning margin was only a neck it was the manner in which Sacred Capital found the wire. After traveling on the bridle in fourth spot for most of the race Ho cuddled the impressive looking son of O’Reilly until straightening and only did enough to ensure he landed the prize. With the SJM Derby only three weeks away, it was obvious that Lau was looking to give the four-year-old as little to do as possible in Saturday’s race.
Joe Lau won his first Macau Derby in 2015 with The Alfonso under Nash Rawiller who destroyed his rivals with a five lengths victory. Zac Purton then guided Sacred Man to one of the easiest wins in the Blue Riband event with a massive eight and a half lengths win in the race in 2017. Like The Alfonso and Sacred Man, Sacred Capital is raced by the same connections in Mr. Chen Ching Lung and Dato K S Yap.
Sacred Capital appears to be a bright prospect as a versatile galloper who has enough early speed to lead middle distance events and can also sit off the pace and produce a dazzling finish as he did on Saturday. Add that his ability to handle any type of going and he is the complete racehorse. While yet to win at 1800m, his run in the Gr.2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield and his close sixth when beaten 1.7L by ATC Derby winner Levendi in the Gr.33 Carbine Club (1600m) at Flemington suggest that is not an issue.
Sacred Capital’s main rivals appear to be the luckless Éclair Lightning from the Peter Leyshan stable who has had a frustrating run of luck on his past four runs. The son of Darci Brahma was completely knocked out of the race in the MJC 30Th Anniversary Cup (1500m) on March 3rd. Despite losing a good five lengths in the run he still managed to pick himself up off the canvas and charge home for second to Sacred Capital.
Sacred Capital, who raced in Australia as Rellson, was sold through Waikato Stud’s 2016 Ready To Run draft. -MJC