Alpine Edge claims The Archer at Rockhampton

After finishing second in regional Queensland’s other slot race, Alpine Edge has gone one better to win the second running of The Archer (1300m) at Rockhampton.

Trained by Toby and Trent Edmonds and ridden by Ben Thompson, Alpine Edge ($21) snuck in along the rails to claim victory over inaugural winner Emerald Kingdom ($5.50) by a half-head margin with the David Vandyke-trained Weona Smartone ($9.50) a head away in third in the $775,000 feature.

The win followed a disappointing first-up result in the Listed Ascot Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm where the four-year-old by Better Than Ready finished second-last in a field of twelve.

In the run prior, Alpine Edge won the $1 million Magic Millions QTIS Open (1300m) on January 19 on a shifting Gold Coast surface.

“We knew after Magic Millions Day that this was the race we were targeting,” Toby Edmonds said post-race.

“A couple of his owners live in Rocky and we worked hard to get him here.

“We were keen to get him here last year but as a three-year-old he may just have needed another season.

“Credit to the horse. He didn’t have the ideal prep.

“He had an ordinary run in the Ascot where he lost his shoe and didn’t perform as we would have liked coming into a race like this.”

For jockey Ben Thomson, his barnstorming season now also lays claim to a new slot race double on the Queensland racing calendar with victory in The Archer together with the inaugural running of the King Of The Mountain (1200m) aboard Yellow Brick at Toowoomba on December 31.

“We galloped him on Tuesday at Beaudesert and he felt super,” Thompson said.

“He worked alongside The Vowels who came out and ran third in the Queensland Guineas yesterday and Toby said he’d travelled up a treat on Thursday.

“He was super. To be honest, I got impatient at the 200 (metre mark) and I wasn’t sure whether Emerald Kingdom was going to get through, but I stayed hard to the fence.”

Purchased at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $160,000, Alpine Edge’s prizemoney has now passed $1.8 million.

Race favourite with unibet Startantes ($4.20) finished second last in the field of 12.

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