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Sacred Master Wins Gr2 Avondale Cup
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, 4-time Gr1-winning Windsor Park Stud shuttler & former European Champion 2YO Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer-Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) added a Groups success when 4YO gelding Sacred Master (Mastercraftsman-Trickle, by Storm Creek) scored by 0.75-length for trainer Tony Pike in the NZ$100,000 Gr2 Avondale Cup (2400m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding King Kamada (Shinko King-Marsanne, by General Nediym) & 5YO gelding Farm Boy (El Hermano-Lady of Oakview, by Diamond Express). Sacred Master confirmed his status as one of the most promising stayers in New Zealand with this dominant victory and in the process boosted his record to 6 wins and 2 placings from 12 starts for NZ$153,775 earnings. Sacred Master, who was purchased for NZ$65,000 by Raffles Racing at the 2013 NZB Ready To Run Sale, is out of a full sister to Gr1 Levin Classic winner Eileen Dubh and hails from the female family of Gr1 Maori Stakes winner Culminate and New Zealand Oaks winner Solveig. Sacred Master's victory earned him a start in the NZ$500,000 Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on 12 March. "There was a concern that it may be coming too quickly and it was an acid test today to see if we press on to the cup," trainer Tony Pike told NZ Racing Desk. "As long as he pulls up well and does everything right then we'll be come back for the Auckland Cup."