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Potential Ballarat Cup history-maker faces tough task

3 min read
Archie Alexander is more hopeful than confident about the chances of Kiwia (Reset) repeating his past heroics in the Listed Ballarat Cup as the chestnut attempts to complete an unprecedented third win in Saturday’s feature.

The home track trainer is under no illusions about the task ahead of his charge in the Sportsbet-sponsored event and will be more than forgiving if Kiwia falls short.

“It’s the best Cup we’ve seen in a long time and he’s 40 to one for a reason. He’s owes us and the owners nothing, he’s won two Ballarat Cups, won a lot of money and been a great horse,” Alexander said.

Kiwia will go into the race in the fifth start of his current campaign and a mirror lead-up to 12 months ago, which served him so well.

“We’ve followed exactly the same preparation, every single race he ran in last year he’s run in this year so we’ll see how we go. We’re not negative on him, but we’re not giving him a big push either,” Alexander said.

“We’re not negative on him, but we’re not giving him a big push either.” – Archie Alexander

“He’s a year older and it’s not going to be any easier this time around. This time last year we didn’t have many expectations going into the race and he’s got similar form again.

“He ran third in the Coongy that he ran third in 12 months ago, but it is hard to win three Ballarat Cups in a row and no horse has ever done it so it’s just good to be here.”

Kiwia will be partnered by John Allen, who has been aboard the gelding in his last two Cup successes, the first recorded when he was prepared by the disqualified Darren Weir.

Alexander has been delighted with the start his Ballarat stable has made to the 2020/21 term.

“It’s been really good and we’ve had two carnival winners and 20-odd winners for the season so far so it’s been a really good start,” he said.

Alexander produced No Restriction (Unencumbered) to win the Listed Desirable S. on Melbourne Cup Day and Barade (Fr) (Havana Gold {Ire}) to win a middle distance handicap on the closing day at Flemington.

Trainers double-handed

Among those attempting to deny Kiwia making Cup history will be the powerful training combination of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, who will launch a two-pronged attack with the in-form pair of Al Galayel (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) and Junipal (Reset).

Al Galayel reeled two victories at The Valley with at win at Caulfield in between times before he finished sixth in the G3 Coongy H.

“Al Galayel is good and we’ve freshened him and he looks great, it’s a really nice race for him. He wants them to go quickly and he can build off a decent tempo,” Eustace said.

“Things didn’t go his way the other day and it may have been a bad run on paper, but he got a poor ride.”

Junipal

Junipal has also won three of his last four starts and following an unsuccessful crack at the G1 Toorak H., bounced back to land the G3 Sandown S. a week ago.

“Junipal is obviously in good form, but there’s always a bit of a query whether he will handle the back-up. He’s very well though and it’s a valuable race,” Eustace said.

The training partners will also be double-handed in the Magic Millions 2YO Clockwise Classic with Lovin Feelin’ (Exceed And Excel) and Jayanthi (Hinchinbrook) to fly the stable flag.

“They are both flying and Lovin Feelin' came through her first run very, very well and she needed that,” Eustace said.

“Jayanthi is a nice filly and trialled well. She’s obviously inexperienced and she showed that in the trial, but finished off nicely. They are hard to split, but Lovin Feelin' has had that run.”

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