Sacred Star has given Diggers Rest breeder Mark Ruff his first Group 1 winner in the Telegraph Hcp (1200m) at Trentham.

Sacred Star (5g Flying Spur – Irish Nova by O’Reilly) won the feature sprint by four lengths in a blistering 67.01s for Raffles Racing and trainer Tony Pike.  They bought him for $200,000 when catalogued by Ruff as part of the Attunga Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

The Victorian bred gelding had won the G2 QTC Cup at Eagle Farm during a trip to the winter carnival last year.

Ruff didn’t watch the New Zealand race live.  “I was at a camp-drafting event at Trafalgar on Saturday.  It didn’t really sink in until I started receiving a heap of calls and texts.”

Mark operates Bulla Thoroughbreds on 900 acres at Diggers Rest.  His start in racing began in the 1980s when he worked for Colin Little at Caulfield while completing a degree in Building Engineering.

He bought Irish Nova for $150,000 after she was Group 2 placed at Trentham.  “She’s a very strong, attractive mare with a beautiful head and a lovely nature.  Every horse she’s produced has been a really nice type.”

Irish Nova’s first foal was an unraced Zabeel filly named Zanova.  She was retained by Mark and is currently in foal to Equiano.

Mark sold Irish Nova, in foal to Stratum, for $120,000 to Rosemont Stud at last year’s Magic Millions National Sale but has kept her yearling colt by Foxwedge.

“I’ve been trying to breed at Group 1 winner for a long time.  We have a bit of fun camp-drafting and racing.  I’ve got four or five mares at Digger’s Rest and around 10 horses with Mick Cerchi at Flemington.

“Sadaqa won for us at Flemington on Oaks Day and Sacred Star has topped off our best year ever in the Telegraph.”

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