He did not make it look easy, but Archives was able to return to winning form in an unusual edition of the 2016 Red Anchor Stakes at Moonee Valley this afternoon.
James McDonald elected to press forward in the early stages of the Red Anchor Stakes and he ended up stuck four wide on the son of Helmet as four horses challenged for the lead.
Archives was under pressure coming around the turn and looked beaten, but he was able to fight back in the concluding stages and fight off Crafted for the victory.
McDonald admitted after the race that not everything went to plan for Archives in the Red Anchor Stakes, but he was impressed with the toughness that the three-year-old showed in the final 100 metres.
“That was hard work,” McDonald said.
“He travelled fairly wide in the race, but he kept his rhythm up and he was strong.
“He had to be strong and he held the rest of them at bay.
“He had to do it the tough way.
“It felt like we were going up and down on one spot towards the winning post, but he got away with it.”
Archives raced very greenly at times during the Red Anchor Stakes, but Godolphin assistant trainer David Charles said that was not unusual for the three-year-old and he confirmed that trainer John O’Shea would look for some other races for the colt during the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He has a wonderful constitution and he is a very hard-trier,” Charles said.
“It worked out really well and we can only be happy that he has run.
“It is just the style of the horse – he is a galloper and he just keeps rolling along, which means he needs to get out and get rhythm.
“One of John’s instructions was to get the rhythm and get the even flow into the race.
“He has an amazing will to win and we are very happy with him.
“John will sit down this week to work it out – we have the Cup Carnival coming up and there is a race or two there for him.”
Crafted ran well in his Melbourne racing debut and was just outfought by Archives on the line, while extreme outsider Big John Cannon found the line well to finish third.