Survival of fittest in Warrnambool Cup

Survival of fittest in Warrnambool Cup

Trainer Archie Alexander.

Trainer Archie Alexander.

Trainer Archie Alexander wants to turn the Warrnambool Cup into a last man standing affair.

The Ballarat trainer saddles Survived in the 2350m-Listed race on Thursday and wants jockey Dean Holland to be aggressive in his approach to the race.

Survived finished sixth in last year’s Warrnambool Cup before going on to win the Mount Gambier Cup later in May.

The Mount Gambier Cup victory was Survived’s latest with the gelding finishing second on two occasions in 11 subsequent starts.

Survived is coming off a last-start fourth in a 2400m race at Randwick on April 22.

“He always leads but he (apprentice James Innes) probably wasn’t aggressive enough last time,” Alexander said.

“He’s a horse that you have to ride over the top, so when you kick off from the 1000 (metres) he’s a horse that needs to be kicking off from the 1200 (metres) and to try and break their hearts.

“That’s what we’ll be trying to do on Thursday.”

Alexander says the trip to Sydney has benefited Survived and he believes the Warrnambool Cup is not as strong as last year.

He said Survived had not done a lot of work since his Sydney effort and he put him over a few jumps last Saturday morning.

“He can be a very hard ride,” Alexander said.

“He’s a very hard puller so he does most of his work on the treadmill and he hasn’t done a huge amount since Sydney.

“After Thursday he’ll go to the Mount Gambier Cup like he did last year.”

Alexander would like to see some rain ahead of Thursday’s race.

“The wetter the better for him but that doesn’t look like happening,” Alexander said.

“It might be a bit gluey but one thing is he will stay all day.”

Survived is rated a $10 chance with the Darren Weir-trained High Church the $3.50 favourite.

Weir is chasing a fourth straight Warrnambool Cup following the wins of Akzar (2014), Tall Ship (2015) and Master Of Arts last year.

By Craig Brennan

WARRNAMBOOL, May 3 AAP