Night’s Watch primed for Lord Stakes at Caulfield

Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander has lofty autumn plans for veteran Night’s Watch, with the Australian Cup at Flemington in March among the options.

While Alexander has yet to confirm a definite path for the seven-year old beyond the Listed Lord Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, he mentioned the 2000m Cup and Doncaster Mile at Randwick in April as races to be considered.

Night’s Watch has already proved he is up to Group 1 company, having finished second to Fierce Impact in last year’s Toorak Handicap at Caulfield when in the Chris Waller stable.

The gelding has won at Group 3 level, having claimed the Neville Sellwood Stakes Rosehill in March last year, before being unplaced in the Doncaster.

Night’s Watch will be having its second start for Archie Alexander on Saturday. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“He is good enough to have a good race in the autumn, maybe the Australian Cup or Doncaster,” Alexander said. “He is up to that class.

“He is better than most (in the Lord Stakes) on pure form, that is why he has 62kg.”

Night’s Watch made his debut for Alexander when he came from last to finish runner-up to Tavidance over 1600m at Pakenham on December 5. Tavidance won by almost four lengths being eased down on the line in a performance which has earned him favouritism for the Lords Stakes.

Alexander was rapt with the effort of Night’s Watch, describing the run as brilliant and he said he could not be happier with the horse. The 1700m should suit Night’s Watch second up from the spell, according to Alexander and he meets Tavidance slightly better in the weights.

“Obviously there is still a big weight difference between him and Tavidance, but he is 1.5kg closer than we were,” Alexander said.

Trainer Archie Alexander has big plans for Night’s Watch in the autumn. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“Night’s Watch still has 62kg and he did beat us fair and square, so there is a bit of work to do there. Logically, you would think we would run second, but if he has a good day and has improved, we can beat the favourite.”

Night’s Watch will have the benefit of form jockey Damian Lane in the saddle, while Damien Oliver has retained the ride on Tavidance.

There has already been plenty of backing for Tavidance since markets opened on Wednesday. The only other horse under double figures is Paradee, to be ridden by Jamie Kah.

Paradee drops in weight from her last start second in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes over 2000m at Flemington on December 7.

Originally published asBig Watch on Archie’s budding autumn star

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