Purton cracks first Brisbane Group 1 in J J Atkins

Kiwi invader Sacred Elixir (NZ) gave Hong Kong rider Zac Purton his first Group 1 in his former hometown with a dominant victory in the $600,000 J J Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Zac Purton and Sacred Elixir (NZ), picture
Purton is now an Asian superstar but Brisbane always remains close to his heart after doing his early riding in the Queensland capital where he won the Brisbane jockeys’ title as an apprentice in 2003.

Sacred Elixir was handled perfectly by Purton who went on to down Charnley River by 3-1/2 lengths with Heart Skipt A Beat, a further 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Winning trainer Tony Pike praised Purton after his brilliant ride and will now aim Sacred Elixir for the Group 1 Victoria Derby at Flemington in the spring.

“Zac gave him a great ride and he put them away quickly,” Pike said.

“Everything has gone to plan for us since we came over here.

“Doomben wasn’t his track in the Sires’ Produce last start but we came here for a Group 1 full of confidence.

“It was always been part of our plan to come here before we go back and get ready him for the VRC Derby.”

Purton believes Sacred Elixir, who took his record to three wins from six starts, looks an ideal Derby type.

“He’s got good size about him and a good brain but he’s still learning,” Purton said.

“Come spring time and he’ll make a very good three-year-old.”

Earlier Sydney mare Cradle Me gave new owners Aquis Farm a quick return on their outlay after taking out the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m).

Cradle Me, ridden by Hong Kong jockey Zac Purton, burst through along the fence to down Artistry by one length with Jessy Belle a head away, third.

Cradle Me went through the recent Magic Millions National Broodmare sales at the Gold Coast and was knocked down for $300,000.

“She cost her original owners $28,000 and won 10 races for them,” said winning trainer David Pfeiffer.

“They were thrilled when she sold for $300,000 at the sales.”

Pfeiffer said Cradle Me wasn’t nominated for the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara in a fortnight but he would speak to her owners about paying a late nomination.

The rising eight-year-old mare’s win took her record to 11 wins from 50 starts.

Pfieffer sent Cradle Me to Brisbane following her placing in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes at Scone last month.

She ran second to Ghisoni in her Brisbane debut in the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes at Doomben on May 28 before taking out her claiming her first Group 2 victory.

Meanwhile My Country created history by becoming the first winner on the newly renovated Eagle Farm track in the Listed Lancaster Stakes (1200m).

Ridden by Blake Shinn, My Country earned a three-year-old spring carnival campaign with a half-length win over Invincibella.

Trainer Peter Snowden has always had a good opinion of My Country and believes the daughter of Poet’s Voice has a bright future.