Geelong Cup test for Wheal Leisure

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Wheal Leisure will try to keep the momentum going for trainer Archie Alexander in the Geelong Cup.

Wheal Leisure could continue a successful spring carnival for the Archie Alexander stable in the Geelong Cup.

Alexander snared his biggest win since opening his stable at Ballarat three years ago when Lord Fandango claimed the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes.

Lord Fandango backed up seven days later in Saturday’s $3 million Group One Caulfield Cup and ran an excellent race for fourth.

Wheal Leisure beat Lord Fandango in a 1600m-race at Bendigo last month in her first start this preparation before beating Hardham in the $250,000 Inglis Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 1.

The mare shares the third line of early betting at $7 for Wednesday’s Group Three Geelong Cup (2400m) with Berisha.

“She’s going well and it will be nice to test her on Wednesday,” Alexander said.

“I’m looking forward to it and then we’ll see after that where we go. The Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington is kind of what we aimed for a long time ago.”

Wheal Leisure has won four of her nine starts.

During her first preparation she finished fifth in the Group One Australian Oaks at Randwick, ninth in the South Australian Derby and third in the Listed Tasmanian Oaks.

“I think she’s pretty good now but she could get even better, so we’re really happy with her,” Alexander said.

Alexander had Wheal Leisure nominated for Saturday’s Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield but believed the 2400m of the Geelong Cup would be more suitable.

There are no northern-hemisphere-trained runners in the field of 12.

New Zealand trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have Lizzie L’Amour while there are a few imports, including last year’s runner-up Grey Lion.

Alexander believes Wheal Leisure has a genuine chance.

“I wouldn’t say she’s the top pick but I think she’s as good a pick as anyone,” he said.

“There’s not really any horse in there I’m thinking is way better than us.

“There’s probably four or five of them who have got a great chance, but I’m happy with her and I’m looking forward to it.”

The Darren Weir-trained imports Gallic Chieftain ($3.20) and Kellstorm ($6.50) are on the top two lines of betting.

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