Auckland Cup options for Alexander

Archie Alexander  - Sharon Lee Chapman
Archie Alexander

Sharon Lee Chapman

Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander fears he is running out of time to play a significant role in the Melbourne Spring Carnival as his strangles drama lingers.

Alexander had hoped to be back training yesterday, 10 days after reporting his suspicion that two of his horses had the contagious virus. Only one was confirmed to have strangles.

But Alexander is now awaiting the results of further tests with no indication from Racing Victoria as to when he might be able to resume training.

Alexander has Wheal Leisure and Lord Fandango on Caulfield and Melbourne Cup campaigns but said he would struggle to prepare them if the stable lock-down remains in place beyond midway through next week.

“We’ve been keeping the work up to them via swimming and treadmill work but the bottom line is we’re going to quickly run out of time unless we get some clarity very soon,’’ he said.

“If we’re able to resume by next Wednesday, we can maybe pull it off but we have absolutely no idea.’’

Alexander said he was already plotting campaigns around the major Cups and suggested a  Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) bid in the autumn might be considered for Lord Fandango and Weal Leisure.

The $500,000 Auckland Cup will be run on March 9 with the conditions of the race changing in recent years from handicap to set weights and penalties. 


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