Alward continues winning ways in ATC Cup

Caryl Williamson
A working holiday in the Queensland sunshine has worked wonders for ATC Cup winner Alward

A stint in the warmer climes of Queensland has reinvigorated Alward who has claimed a first stakes win in the Listed ATC Cup at Rosehill.

Alward spent the winter and most of the spring at trainer Chris Waller's Gold Coast stable and backed up an open handicap win at Doomben three weeks ago with his tough victory on Saturday, also over 2000 metres, the distance of seven of his eight wins.

Waller said the change of scene worked well for many of the horses he sends north to test their levels.

"It has been a while between drinks but he found winning form in Queensland and has come down in great condition," Waller said.

"He arrived earlier this week and obviously the team up there do a pretty good job.

"The change of scenery for the horse just keeps them interested and Hugh Bowman gave him a beautiful ride."

Bowman had Alward ($7) camped on the pace and the gelding took control in the straight to beat stablemate Black On Gold ($5.50) by 1-3/4 lengths.

Tamarack ($31) was edged out of second by a short half head with $3.20 favourite House Of Cartier disappointing, finishing 10th, six lengths from the winner while Grey Lion was eased out of the race by Kathy O'Hara.

Waller said Alward would most likely head to the Summer Cup (2000m) on Boxing Day rather than the Christmas Cup a few days earlier.

"I'd like to keep him around the same distance so I'm thinking the Summer Cup," he said.

"There is the Christmas Cup in two weeks but I don't really think he gets 2400.

"High Bridge (5th) was terrific. He will go to the Christmas Cup."

Waller said Black On Gold would have one more run before he heads to a race on the Magic Millions program on January 12 at the Gold Coast.

Bowman said he thought Alward could maintain his form having put two wins together.

"Chris has done a great job to get him back in form," he said.

"He has obviously tinkered a little bit with him. It was a long time between drinks until he won last start but he might be on a bit of a roll now."