It has been a big year for fledgling trainer Archie Alexander and Martinvast will attempt to provide him with another milestone at Flemington.
Alexander started training around six months ago after 12 years learning his craft from some of the best in the world including Criquette Head and Aidan O’Brien.
The Englishman has already made an impact with Renew’s victory in the Listed Sandown Cup.
Formerly trained by Marco Botti, Renew also went close to giving Alexander a Melbourne Cup day win in a support race and contested the Caulfield Cup.
His Sandown Cup success convinced owners OTI Racing to leave the imported stayer with Alexander at Ballarat instead of sending him to premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller as planned.
On Saturday in the Bitalli Hcp (2540m), Martinvast will try to give the trainer his first winner at Australia’s most famous racetrack.
Martinvast was well beaten when fifth at Sandown last start but Alexander said the horse raced too freely in front and he also felt Craig Newitt made a bit too much use of him during the run.
“This time we’ll be looking to ride him a bit more sensibly and if there’s a strong tempo and he could just sit second or third with a bit of cover. That would be far better than going off in front,” Alexander said.
“The horse didn’t run badly and he hasn’t come out of the race tired or sore. I just think some of these races you just have to draw a line through and move on. It wasn’t our day.”
“It would be a bold move to say he could come out and win but I think he’s a very good each-way chance.”
Martinvast is nominated for the Perth Cup on January 1 but Alexander says that is unlikely with the Bagot Handicap on the same day at Flemington the logical option.