More Than Sacred secured her first stakes win of the season with a tough staying performance to claim the Group 3 Waikato Times Gold Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa.
The New Zealand Oaks winner started a heavily backed favourite and lived up to the expectation by displaying great determination in the straight to defeat Wisecrack and Guns At Five.
“They had a handy break on us and I was hoping the 53kg was going to kick in and to the mare’s credit she got up late,” said winning jockey Leith Innes.
“She’s going to get two miles [3200m] be it this year or next. There’s not much of her, but she just jumps out and relaxes.”
The Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue trained mare will now head towards the Group 2 City of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
New Zealand racing journalist Aidan Rodley described More Than Sacred as “the most exciting staying prospect in the country with her Waikato Times Gold Cup win.”
Mulcaster Bloodstock purchased More Than Sacred’s dam Danalaga when she was in foal.
Stablemate Sacred Star, also purchased by Mulcaster Bloodstock, made it a memorable day for the Pike and Donoghue team at Te Rapa by winning his third consecutive start.