New Zealand gelding Survived has overcome the first barrier to winter carnival success, arriving fit and healthy in Brisbane on Thursday.
The Queensland Derby favourite made the trip from Auckland with a host of other winter carnival contenders and immediately settled in to his new surrounds.
Trainer John Bary said the in-form stayer is a happy horse ahead of his Australian debut in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2100m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
“It’s the first time I’ve raced one straight off the plane but he’s seems to have handled it well,” Bary told Radio Sports National.
“He seems well and he’s drinking and eating well.”
The three-year-old is set to start a short-priced favourite in Saturday’s Queensland Derby lead-up after proving himself as one of the most exciting prospects in his home country.
Survived will be out to claim a fifth straight win this weekend and was last seen beating the older horses by 4 1/2 lengths in the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup on April 27.
Bary is chasing his second Rough Habit Plate title after The Hombre saluted in 2010.
The Hastings trainer can’t fault his charge’s form but admits there is a minor question mark over how he will handle the right-handed way of going for the first time.
“He’s been running well at home. He took on the older horses on his home track last time and took care of them,” Bary said.
“We’ve done plenty of work that way but it’s different in a pressure scenario.”
Among the dangers to Survived on Saturday is fellow Kiwi Usainity who won the Frank Packer Plate on Australian debut last month.
In their only previous meeting Survived defeated Usainity by a length in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic in March.