Archives fought back after being headed by Jericho to record a narrow victory in the 2016 Hampden Stakes at Doomben this afternoon.
James McDonald settled Archives just behind the leader in the early stages of the race and he received a lovely run in transit, while Blake Shinn settled Jericho at the tail of the field.
Jericho burst through from the pack after some impressive manoeuvring from Shinn and he looked as though he had the race shot to bits, but Archives fought back on the inside to record an impressive victory.
McDonald believes that Archives still has plenty of improvement in front of him and is unsure whether he can run out a strong 1600 metres at this stage of his career, but he was still impressed with the Hampden Stakes performance of the Helmet colt.
“He is a big raw bugger and he has a lot to learn,” McDonald said.
“He rolled around in the straight a bit and he has a lot of greenness, but he has a good bit of talent.
“He is very raw and a mile might be a big ask for him, but I have no doubt in the future that he will.
“It is a lovely start to his career.”
John O’Shea was clearly thrilled to see a son of Helmet score a black-type racing win and he said that Archives is a horse that excites him going forward.
Archives was not included in the nominations for the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) that will be held at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, but he said that the two-year-old will press on to the Listed The Phoenix (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4 and could be worthy of a late nomination for the Group 1 event.
“He is a lovely horse and he has a great demeanour,” McDonald said.
“He had a cushy run and he is still learning his trade, but it is very encouraging that when he was challenged he went on with it.
“We might just give him an easy week and bring him back in a fortnight over 1400 and we will see how that turns out for him.
“We can always pay the late nomination and it we can just see how the horse is going.”
Jericho arguably would have won the Hampden Stakes if he did not lay in late, but it was still a promising performance for the Team Snowden-trained galloper going forward.