Sacred following York money after bypassing Hungerford option

Sacred will head to York for the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes having not been declared to run in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

Trained by William Haggas, the five-year-old has won five of her 15 starts and having made a successful return at Lingfield earlier in the campaign, came close to scooping Royal Ascot glory when beaten a neck by Khaadem in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.

She was due to seek Group One compensation in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, but wet weather both home and abroad meant the versatile operator missed out on a trip to Deauville earlier this month.

Rain is also set to hit Newbury this weekend and the decision to reroute to the Knavesmire could prove a shrewd choice by connections if conditions in Berkshire subsequently turn testing.

However, the Somerville Lodge handler is keen to point out the difference in prize-money between the two contests and having won the Hungerford in 2021, he is now keen to seek a portion of the £500,000 prize fund on offer at York.

“She’s fine and we’re going for the money,” said Haggas.

“We’ve won the Hungerford before and we’re going to go for the City of York.

“The Hungerford is £62,000 to the winner and the York race is £283,000 to the winner, so I think they deserve our support. We can’t continually bleat about prize-money then not support the tracks that put it on.

“I think York looks set fair, whereas Newbury at the weekend could be quite wet.”

Haggas also revealed he is doing everything in his power to get Sense Of Duty to the start line for Haydock’s Betfair Sprint Cup on September 9.

The four-year-old daughter of Showcasing was ready for the step up to the next level having racked up a four-race winning sequence, but injury hit after her impressive display in Newcastle’s Chipchase Stakes last June and she has been on the sidelines ever since.

“She’s on her way and we’re trying really hard to get her to Haydock,” explained Haggas.

“She was improving and she was very impressive in the Chipchase I thought. We’ll see what this year involves, but she has been off the track for a very long time.”

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