Sacred Falls continued his love affair with the Randwick mile recording an impressive victory in Saturday’s Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
The two-time Doncaster Mile (1600m) winner firmed from $21 into $12 for the Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) with TAB on the strength of the performance.
The win was first of two Group 1 victories in 20 minutes for trainer Chris Waller, who also claimed the Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield with Foreteller.
A fourth Group 1 victory in 22 career starts for the five-year-old, Waller said it proved the son of O’Reilly was more than just a ‘wet-tracker’.
“Prior to coming to me he won a Group 1 in New Zealand on a pretty firm track and it’s good to see him show it in Australia today that he’s not just a wet tracker,” Waller said.
“It’s just good when a plan comes off, he’s been set for the race and he could have been in the breeding barn but thankfully the owners pushed on and he’s a pretty dominant horse.”
Settling in fifth position on the rail, once jockey Zac Purton angled Sacred Falls ($4F) into the clear at the 200m mark he produced a scintillating turn-of-speed to record a 1.3 length win over stable mate Royal Descent ($6.50), with Laser Hawk ($61) a further half-length away in third.
Hawkspur ($8.50) provided Waller with first, second and fourth in the race finishing 2.5 lengths away from the winner, with three-year-old Panzer Division ($4.80) narrowly further back in fifth.
Four-year-old mares and prominent Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup fancies Lucia Valentia ($6.50) and Rising Romance ($14) were next home filling the sixth and seventh positions respectively.
In the Group 2 Shorts (1100m) the Joe Pride-trained Terravista confirmed his position as Sydney’s top sprinter with a dominant two-length win.
Pride described the horse as the ‘most talented he’s ever had’ and said he could be headed to Melbourne next start to contest the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
One galloper that could be headed back to Melbourne this Spring is 2011 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) runner-up Manawanui, who resumed with an impressive first-up win in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).
Returning after nearly 12 months on the sidelines, the victory was the Ron Leemon-trained six-year-old’s first since the Group 2 AAMI Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October 2011.
In the day’s other features, Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Earthquake finished third in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m – which was won in an upset result by the John Thompson-trained First Seal – and Junoob made the most of a great front-running ride from jockey Blake Shinn to win the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m).