Is it Archie Alexander’s Albury Gold Cup to lose?

Will Archie Alexander (left) add an Albury Gold Cup to his trophy cabinet? (Bronwyn Nicholson/Racing Photos)

TRAINER Archie Alexander is no stranger to country cups in the north east, and Friday’s Albury Gold Cup looms as a golden opportunity to add another trophy to the cabinet.

Alexander saluted in September’s Benalla Cup with Lord Fandango, guiding the German import to success in the country.

That run spurred the horse on to city success in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before an above expectations fourth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Alexander also brings that winning cup form in his float down to Albury. Survived, who claimed the Murtoa Cup back in October, will jump from barrier one in Friday’s feature.

Could the stablemates Wheal Leisure or Survived plot a similar city course after claiming a country cup? Let’s have an in-depth look at the pair.

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Wheal Leisure

Wheal Leisure
Wheal Leisure is a mare that has succeeded in the city.

Wheal Leisure is a mare that has a lot of class about her.

Registering wins at city grade in the past, the daughter of Artie Schiller comes into this race having won two times across three previous attempts at the 2000m trip.

Further to this, the horse has won third-up, the point of the preparation it is at now. Could Friday’s run spur Wheal Leisure on to have a crack at The Championships?

Wheal Leisure is a $5 hope at Neds to win the Albury Gold Cup

Survived

Survived (NZ) ridden by Declan Bates wins the QLS Logistics Murtoa Cup at Murtoa Racecourse on October 07, 2017 in Murtoa, Australia. (Bronwyn Nicholson/Racing Photos)

While Survived hasn’t won since late last year, you cannot deny the class of a horse that’s got the job done in a feature event.

The gelding claimed victory in the Murtoa Cup back in October of last year, beating a quality field of runners including Darren Weir’s Kiwia.

The eight-year-old showed great signs of improvement after registering a last-start fourth in the Edenhope Wimmera Cup two weeks ago, which could be the catalyst for a strong run on Friday.

From barrier one the horse will get the opportunity to lead and run them into the ground as it did at Murtoa, so don’t count the long-shot out.

Survived is a $20 outsider at Ladbrokes to win the Albury Gold Cup

Verdict

This is Wheal Leisure’s race to lose.

Carrying just 54kg – compared to 62kg of race favourite Supply And Demand ($3.80 at Crownbet) – from the perfect draw and with third-up form in the past all on her side, the classy four-year-old is currently on the third line of betting ($5 at online bookmaker Crownbet).

We’re certain it will jump at a significantly shorter price than that. The mare has real upside to her and we believe Wheal Leisure is the horse to beat heading into Albury’s feature.