Racing: Cup test for Survived

By Mike Dillon

The Hombre has a good record at Hastings and will again be a leading prospect there tomorrow.Picture / Natalie Slade
The Hombre has a good record at Hastings and will again be a leading prospect there tomorrow.Picture / Natalie Slade

On paper, Survived looks to be up against it in tomorrow's $70,000 Hawkes Bay Gold Cup.

However, on recent performances he looks the one to beat.

Survived has had only six starts and won four of them.

Traditionally, a horse with that almost total lack of experience would not even be considered in a race like a Hawkes Bay Cup, but Survived has been so stylish he comes right into this race.

What makes him so attractive is his minimum weight of 53kg.

Probably the horse to beat is Sum Up, who ran exceptionally well in last week's Easter at Ellerslie, but he has topweight of 59kg.

In what looks likely to be testing conditions, that 6kg differential is going to be one of the big deciding factors.

It was only a R75 event that Survived won at Rotorua two starts back, but he streaked away from the opposition by 9.5 lengths and did not have to hit top gear to do it.

He made a huge step up to stakes class at Awapuni last start, when he was slowly away, went around the field approaching the home turn and easily ran down Usainity, a 3-year-old the Baker/Forsman stable has a big opinion of.

"Believe it or not, he's improved slightly since that Awapuni run," says trainer John Bary. "His work on Tuesday was the best he's ever produced."

Survived has to run at extra 200m this time and will not have struck a track as testing as the likely footing at Hastings. "The track was cutting out at Rotorua and he never looked like putting a foot wrong," said Bary.

Masa Tanaka, who rode Survived at Rotorua, is back in the saddle with stable jockey Jonathan Riddell unable to get anywhere near 53kg.

In finishing fifth Sum Up produced one of the runs of the race in last week's group one Easter.

He was equal last on the home bend and powered home down the outside to be just 1.6 lengths from the winner Viadana.

He has to back up in seven days, but if he can overcome that he will be right in this finish.

His record on rain-affected tracks is fabulous - 10 starts for four wins and three placings.

Assuming the footing will be slow, quite a few will not be suited. In-form runners Guns At Five and Skysoblue are likely to be among them.

Skysoblue has been in massive form coming through the grades. She is the likely pacemaker.

El Soldato has never hit the headlines, but he is more than capable. His second to stylish winner Sangster in the Auckland Cup last start showed what he can achieve.

It's going to be a busy day for Bary who will be hopeful that The Hombre, on trial for a lightning raid to Australia, can given him a double by winning the $25,000 Ocean Park @ Waikato Stud 1200m.

"If he goes well in this race we'll look at a hit-and-run raid on Australia - nothing grand, just a low key race," said trainer John Bary.

"But at their carnivals even a low-key race can be worth between A$120,000-A$150,000."

Bary will look at a May 18 race at Doomben if tomorrow's result is good.

The Hombre will get his chance with Dylan Turner claiming 3kg off his 58kg handicap. He comes off a close fourth to Shandream at Tauranga under 59kg last start.

"He should be able to get a nice tuck in behind the leaders."

Jetset Lad is another class act in the line-up, but with the next four in the handicap beneath him all ridden by claiming apprentices, he will carry clear topweight of 59kg by 4kg.

To his advantage is his ability on wet tracks, something I Am Sam and Double Barrel can also claim.

Hawkes Bay Cup

A Johnny-come-lately could upstage the stayers.

Survived has burst onto the scene quickly with a dashing run of form.

On just 53kg tomorrow he gets big weight concessions from most of the field.

- NZ Herald

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