Alward’s momentus upward projection continues after being narrowly beaten in the listed Tattersalls Club Cup at Randwick over 2400m on Saturday.
It was only a five horse field, but full of quality, as he went down by a narrow margin of a neck. He got into a good position early and was afforded cover through the early stages. He travelled comfortably through the middle stages off a fairly moderate tempo and gradually improved his position within the half mile to get up outside the leader at the top of the straight. Rather than halting his momentum jockey Brenton Avdulla allowed him to stride forward and he was in front a long way from home, he quickened strongly at the top of the rise and looked the winner 200m out.
Says trainer Chris Waller, “Alward was very brave in defeat on an unsuitable track on Saturday. Full credit to the winner, Destiny’s Kiss who is a very consistent performer in these big races, especially on wet tracks and carried 7 kg more than us. Alward was certainly not disgraced, putting in a gallant performance to be run down over the final 20m.”
Jockey Brenton Avdulla was full of praise post race, “He tried extremely hard and probably wasn’t entirely comfortable in the ground and is certainly up to improvement over this trip.”
Says Chris “It was a good performance but a shame we went down by a narrow margin; however he gains a listed placing to his race record and I am sure he will go on to bigger and better things from here.”
He has pulled up well and bigger and better things will be racing on Derby Day at Flemington in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes over 2500m worth A$300,000.
“We won’t go there with expectations, we will simply give him the opportunity to perform on a big day providing he does everything right between now and then. Flemington would be a much tougher race than Saturday’s race but the big wide track should suit him and he should get better track conditions.”
The Lexus Stakes is a traditional lead up to the Melbourne Cup with the winner gaining automatic qualification to Australia’s most iconic race. Previous winners of the Lexus Stakes who have gone on to win the Melbourne Cup include Brew in 2000 and Shocking in 2009. In 2010 winner of the Lexus, Maluckyday, came second in the Melbourne Cup and Sign Off in 2014 came fourth.
Racing Manager Albert Bosma is like a kid at Christmas. “It is incredibly exciting to have a horse on the verge of running in the Melbourne Cup. It has all come about so quickly. Just to have a runner would be a dream – to actually win it would make that dream come true.”