THE Steve Aldridge-trained Archibar may be destined for a career over the jumps after capturing the inaugural $17,500 Riverina Cup (3800 metres) at Wagga yesterday.
In the longest flat race in the state, Archibar ($9) thrived in the heavy going to demolish his rivals by 11 lengths over the marathon trip.
Aldridge said he would now place Archibar on the market and predicted the six-year-old gelding could prove to be a handy jumper.
“I thought he was a rough hope today but I never dreamt he would go that well,” Aldridge said.
“I sort of targeted the race today thinking if he could win and prove he could get over a staying trip — and the fact he can jump — there might be a few trainers interested.
“While there is no jumps racing locally he might suit someone who likes their jumps racing.
“But if nobody wants to buy him I will just keep racing him, especially while the heavy tracks are around.”
Ridden by Brendan Ward, Archibar made a race-winning move when set alight by Ward with 800 metres to travel.
Archibar pinched a commanding lead entering the straight and showed no signs of stopping to defeat Dominant Manner ($3fav) and Abraxas ($3.50).
It was the gelding’s fourth career win and first since also winning on a heavy track at Albury in June last year.
“I wasn’t even thinking of targeting the race until I got a text from the Wagga secretary last week,” Aldridge said.
“I originally just laughed when I saw it was over 3800 metres.
“But then I got to thinking he could stay all day and he probably should have won at Echuca last start when he got a couple of checks and finished third.
“With the prospect of a heavy track I thought why not — and I’m glad now that I did.”
Ward extended his lead in the Southern District jockey’s premiership race when he rode a double.
The Canberra-based hoop also won aboard the Emma Steel-trained Rock ‘N’ Royal in the last event on the seven-race card.