Trainer Archie Alexander is hopeful Kiwia can win his third straight Ballarat Cup
KIWIA will attempt a historic third-straight Ballarat Cup triumph on Saturday.
Trainer Archie Alexander cannot rule out the seven year-old marvel, who like last year must defy form to keep intact an unblemished career record (4-from-4) at Ballarat.
Only four other horses have won the 2200m provincial feature twice.
“If it’s any other horse you’d be very, very disappointed and worried,” Alexander said.
“(But) look at this time last year (and) it was just as bad.”
Kiwia prevailed last year despite being well outside the placings in three of his four starts leading in, with the exception being a third in the Group 3 Coongy at Caulfield.
Kiwia bobbed up again last month to run third in the Coongy, the only “glimpse” of form.
“He’s a very seasonal horse and hits his form in the spring and doesn’t really perform very well any other time of the year,” Alexander said.
“We know it‘s horse racing (and) unless you got a Winx nothing is guaranteed.
“He’s going to be a genuine 20-1 shot I’d say, without seeing the field, he’s not going to be a short favourite with his form.
“You’re hoping (to win) more than anything.”
Alexander is keen to see last-start winner Barade measure up in the Ballarat Cup after winning a 2000m handicap at Flemington on Stakes Day.
“You got the two horses at different ends of the spectrum, one is the old boy going for his third Ballarat Cup with nothing to prove and a young one on his way through.”
Early indications suggest the Listed feature could be one of the strongest renewals ever, with a host of spring contenders eyeing the $300,000 race.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace will look to have multiple runners, including Al Galayel and Bonvicini.
“He’s (Al Galayel) based at Ballarat and normally comes to Caulfield to do his gallops then goes to the beach for a few days and comes home,” Maher said.
“I reckon he looks fantastic. The gap between runs won’t worry him at all. He hasn’t missed any work.
“Last start we rode him forward but he’d rather be the horse descending on them.”
Bonvicini has raced without much luck since kicking off her campaign with an eye-catching third in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes four starts back.
She finished seventh, 2.25 lengths behind Affair To Remember in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes at Flemington last start.
“Just got held up, held up, held up,” Maher lamented.
“That was the first time we took her to 2000 metres and she really ran it out strong and finished the race on the bridle.”
Matt Cumani is likely to be represented by One More Try, who should be suited by any sting out of the ground, while Lindsay Park will consider backing up So Si Bon.
Originally published asBallarat Cup king Kiwia chases historic three-peat
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