Sacred Falls defeated favorite Pierro in the BMW Doncaster Handicap (Aus-I) and Royal Descent scored an eye-catching victory in the Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (Aus-I) to give trainer Chris Waller a group I double April 20 Royal Randwick.
Last of 18 runners the home turn, 19-1 outsider Sacred Falls caught 7-2 pick Pierro in early stretch and held on for a narrow win over the champion, who gamely battled the winner on the heavy ground but could not overcome his hefty weight assignment.
Under 57 kilograms (about 126 pounds), Pierro was seeking to break the weight-carrying record for a 3-year-old in the $2 million race. Australia's Daily Telegraph reported the day after the event that trainer Gai Waterhouse's Lonhro colt, a five-time group I winner and nation's top 2-year-old male of 2011-2012, has been retired.
The Doncaster Handicap is part of this year's Breeders' Cup Challenge series, giving Sacred Falls an automatic berth into this year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 1-2. The Breeders’ Cup will pay the $40,000 in entry fees and provide a $40,000 travel allowance to Sacred Fall's connections for the $2 million event provided he is nominated to the program by Oct. 21.
Waller thought about leaving most of his runners in the barn race day due to deplorable ground conditions, but Sacred Falls had no problems in the quagmire.
Ridden by Tommy Berry, Scared Falls was timed in 1:37.00 for 1,600 meters (about one mile). The win, under 53 kilograms (about 117 pounds), was his first in four starts since capturing the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (NZ-I) last November. In his previous start, he finished second to eventual Sydney Triple Crown winner It's a Dundeel in the Rosehill Guineas (Aus-I) March 30.
Three-year-old filly Norzita, entering off a win in the Queen of the Turf Stakes (Aus-I) April 6, finished third.
Raffles Thoroughbred Racing's Sacred Falls has seven wins and a second from 10 career starts. The 3-year-old colt is by New Zealand's current leading sire O'Reilly out of the winning Redoute's Choice mare Iguazu's Girl.
O'Reilly stands at the Chittick family's Waikato Stud in Matamata, New Zealand.
On behalf of the Raffles operation, bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster signed the ticket for NZ$160,000 to acquire Sacred Falls from breeder Waikato Stud's consignment at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2011 Karaka premier year sale.
Sacred Falls cemented Waller as Sydney's top trainer this season and marked his third winner of the Doncaster, the nation's most prestigious at a mile.
Waller won three straight races on the card. The group I double was preceded by Kellini's triumph in the Brookfield Multiplex Japan Racing Associate Plate. Bookended by the victories of Kellini and Sacred Falls, Royal Descent took her game to another level when scoring stunning 10-length win in the $550,000 Australian Oaks.
Becoming the 22nd group I winner for Arrowfield Stud's elite sire Redoute's, Choice Royal Descent relished the deep ground. She shook clear of nine opponents in the stretch and drew off to win with consummate ease.
''I don't think I have ever been in a group I race where I felt like I was in my own world," said winning jockey Nash Rawiller. "She just swam through the conditions, which were a concern before the race. It was unbelievable.
"She never put a foot out of place in the ground which helped and allowed me to take short cuts and she did the rest. It was just an unbelievable effort.''
VRC Crown Oaks (Aus-I) winner Dear Demi finished best of the rest, and 2013 New Zealand Derby (Aus-I) winner Habibi finished fourth as the 7-2 favorite.
Owned by breeder Gerry Harvey, Royal Descent entered off a 2 1/2-length win under 59 kilograms (about 130 pounds) in the Tabcorp Adrian Knox Stakes (Aus-III) April 12 at Royal Randwick, leaving her connections feeling pretty confident about her chances in the Oaks.
Stretching out an additional 400 meters from her previous start, Royal Descent covered the Oaks' 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) in 2:34.19.
With her Oaks win as the 4-1 second choice, Royal Descent has four victories, a second, and a third from seven lifetime starts. The brown filly is out of Australian group II winner Mulan Princess, by Kaapstad.
Redoute's Choice, who is standing the 2013 Northern Hemisphere season in France, has sired the winners of six Oaks, three Derbys , and five Guineas.