Renew will step-up to 3200 metres in the 2014 Sandown Cup this weekend and trainer Archie Alexander is thrilled with the condition of the imported stayer heading into the Listed event.
Renew made his Australian racing debut under the care of Marco Botti with a 12th place finish in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and be joined the Alexander stable before he finished 16th in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
The Dansili gelding looked like the winner in the Visit Victoria Plate (2800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, but he was caught on the line by Grand Marshal and Alexander was denied a maiden metropolitan race win.
While Alexander was disappointed that Renew was unable to win the Visit Victoria Plate, he was thrilled with the way that the four-year-old came out of the tough run and is happy with the imported galloper heading into the Sandown Cup.
“He actually came through it better than I could dream really,” Alexander told Racing Ahead.
“He has eaten up very well since, he looks a picture and his weight is just the same.
“We have been relatively light with the work because that was only Cup Day and we didn’t want to do a lot.
“He has just had a little sprint up yesterday and that is the only fast work that he has done apart from the regular cantering.”
Renew is expected to head to the spelling paddock after running in the Sandown Cup on Saturday and the initial plans are for the promising gelding to join the Chris Waller stable ahead of the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Alexander will clearly not be happy to lose a horse with the potential of Renew, but he said this morning that Renew has given him a great thrill in the early stages of his training career, while the OTI Racing-owned horse has also played a key role in lifting the public profile of the Ballarat-based trainer.
“He is a very special horse to us and all the staff here,” Alexander said.
“He is a horse that I will always remember because to have a Caulfield Cup runner and a runner on Melbourne Cup Day as a young trainer is special for us.
“He has taken us on a good ride and I thought that it would be a couple of years before I had a runner on Melbourne Cup Day, but within five months to have a runner on Melbourne Cup Day and be beaten a nose was great.
“I’m pretty sure the connections will decide, but I think that he is due to go to Chris Waller after this.”
Renew is currently available at 2014 Sandown Cup odds of $4.20, while Lloyd Williams-owned Massiyn ($3.20) is favourite to record a maiden race win in Australia.