Archie Alexander is looking to Survived to record a city win to go with his country Cup collection.
Trainer Archie Alexander is hoping the short straight at Moonee Valley will enable Survived to register his first success in Melbourne.
A multiple winner of black-type races in New Zealand, including the Group One Makfi Challenge Stakes, Survived has yet to score a city success in Australia.
Survived has won four races since joining Alexander’s stable, all country Cup races, and on Saturday runs in the Bertocchi Christmas Masterpiece Handicap (2500m).
The eight-year-old has won the past three Mt Gambier Cups and Alexander reasons Moonee Valley’s short straight could help Survived land that city victory on Saturday.
Mt Gambier has a long straight, but is a turning track which also has a dog-leg inside the final 200m, which Alexander says suits Survived.
“At Moonee Valley they’re always turning whereas on the bigger tracks he always seems to get gobbled up,” Alexander said.
“On a smaller track he might have a little more luck.
“We’re happy with him. He’s a tricky horse to train but as far as we can see everything is going straightforwardly and he looks very well.”
Survived is coming off a last-start win in the Mt Gambier Cup, his second of 2017, having also won the race in May.
He was ridden to victory by Declan Bates who has forged a successful partnership with the gelding having also won the Murtoa Cup in October.
Bates has ridden Survived three times, for two wins and a second.
“He understands that you’ll never beat the horse and just have to go with him,” Alexander said.
“He’s free running and you never see him in his races get back. He’s always leading or on pace.
“He’s not easy in that respect.”
Alexander also has Macattack engaged in the New Year’s Eve at Legends Handicap (1500m) looking to break her city duck.
“She’s been second and third in a few city races so it would be nice to get a city win for the owner who is also a breeder,” Alexander said.