A bumper 10-race program at Rosehill this Saturday, additional races added to the card due to last weekend’s Warwick Farm washout, will be headlined by the 2012 Expressway Stakes that has drawn 15 nominations, four of which are from the stables of ace Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
Waller has a quartet of early entries for the $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m), which was won 12 months ago by Centennial Park.
Waller is represented in the Expressway Stakes 2012 nominations by three Group 1 winners in Danleigh (2011 Chipping Norton Stakes, 2012 George Ryder Stakes, 2009 Manikato Stakes, 2009 All Aged Stakes), former Queenslander Shoot Out (2010 AJC Australian Derby, 2010 Randwick Guineas) and resuming warhorse Rangirangdoo (2011 George Ryder Stakes, 2010 Doncaster Mile).
Hugh Bowman is engaged to ride Shoot Out, Jim Cassidy for Danleigh and Blake Shinn to partner Rangirangdoo.
“I doubt Rangirangdoo will be ready to win first up,” Waller admitted.
“If he can get within four lengths of them I would be happy and then he will be much more competitive over 1400 metres second-up.
“We are far from getting to the bottom of Shoot Out and he will certainly improve as well but he is probably be a little more forward than Rangirangdoo.”
Waller has also nominated Dane Shadow mare Red Tracer who ran a nice third to Secret Admirer in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) last October before failing last-start when 14th to Albert The Fat in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 5 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Red Tracer, however, is more likely to be saved for the $175,000 Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm Saturday week.
Aside Waller’s trio there is three other Group 1 winners in Expressway Stakes contention this year with Joe Pride’s Doncaster Mile hero Sacred Choice last seen running second in the Myer Classic on Derby Day, veteran Mudgee galloper and Stradbroke champion Sniper’s Bullet, and Ron Leemon’s Golden Rose winning three-year-old Manawanui.
Oratorio gelding Manawanui, last seen finishing sixth to Sangster in the Victoria Derby (2500m) on October 29, may not quite be ready to get back to race conditions by Saturday.
Leemon will make a final decision on whether to take them to the Expressway after they trial in the first 1030m hitout at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.
“The barrier trial will be his major piece of work before his first-up run and it will help me decide whether to go to the Expressway or wait a week for the Royal Sovereign,” Leemon said.
The $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) runs at Warwick Farm on February 18.
The other most notable entries are gun sprinter Rain Affair coming off a win in the Carrington Stakes at Warwick Farm which took their record to eight wins from nine starts, and one-time Golden Slipper favourite Salade to make their race debut for new trainer Gwenda Markwell.
Salade, formerly prepared by Bart Cummings, also trials at Rosehill on Tuesday morning in the ninth hitout of the morning where they come up against Peter Moody’s unbeaten three-year-old Moment Of Change.
The 2012 Expressway Stakes final field and barrier draw will be out on Wednesday with Races.com.au to publish the full list of acceptors and gates.
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2012 Expressway Stakes Nominations
Rosehill – 11/02/2012
|1||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||109|
|3||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||–|
|6||MASTER OF DESIGN||David Payne||102|
|7||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||107|
|8||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||118|
|9||RED TRACER||Chris Waller||–|
|10||SACRED CHOICE||Joseph Pride||–|
|12||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||–|
|13||SNIPER’S BULLET||Tracey Bartley||103|
|14||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||88|
|15||WINTER KING (NZ)||David Payne||102|