Former French galloper set for Ballarat Cup

Earlier in the week Archie Alexander was rubbing his hands together at the prospects of a very wet track for the Ballarat Cup.

With three scratchings from Saturday’s Listed 2000m race, Alexander gets to saddle former French galloper Pappalino in his bid for a second Cup victory having won the race with Kiwia in 2019.

But as the week has drawn on, Alexander’s confidence has fallen as the predicted rain has not arrived, replaced instead by windy drying conditions.

“Hopefully it can rain as it couldn’t get wet enough for him,” Alexander said.

“He’s been a bit disappointing this prep, but he has been on good ground, and he has been mixing his distances up over a mile up to 2000 metres and back to 1800 metres as there weren’t the right races.

“The 2000 metres on Saturday, if it gets wet and is a genuine race, while he needs to improve, he is good enough on his day.”

Pappalino arrived in Australia last year and had his first start in the country running fifth in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown last November.

Put away for a brief break, Pappalino trialled at Geelong in January and was on song for an autumn campaign, but injury struck, and he was sideline for another six months.

“He had a fracture in a front fetlock and that’s why the wetter the ground the better as it helps an old horse like him,” Alexander said.

“He ran fifth in the Eclipse last year beaten less than a length by So Si Bon and ran really well, so he’s definitely got the ability.

“If it’s a good 4 or a soft 5 on Saturday, it probably won’t make much of a difference to him as he needs it a proper wet.”

Pappalino is a $34 chance with TAB.

Following the scratchings of Quantum Mechanic, Only Words and Bonvicini, Thought Of That has firmed into $3.10 favourite ahead of Foxy Frida ($6.50) and Zayydani ($7.50) in latest betting.

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