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Paul Messara has admitted to being surprised at how short Panzer Division was marked for the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) tomorrow, though the trainer isn’t complaining.
Panzer Division opened the Expressway Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au as $3.20 favourite and has only seen his price drift slightly out to $3.40 in the past couple of days. Considering the next line of betting is Weary at $5.50, the three-year-old colt is firm favourite to take out the $200,000 feature race at Rosehill on Saturday.
Messara can only put the short odds down to Panzer Division’s form on heavy tracks – one win and one second placing – considering Rosehill will be rain-affected on Saturday.
“To be honest I’m very surprised how short he’s been marked,” Messara told TVN on Friday morning.
“This is a really good race with horses like Boban and Weary and maybe it’s because he’s got a bit of wet track form, but I am surprised by it.”
The colt will have to overcome a start from the widest barrier but is the only runner carrying the minimum 55kg with James McDonald to ride.
Still the trainer is confident that Panzer Division is a quality colt that will impress against the likes of Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) runner-up That’s A Good Idea, Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) winner Beaten Up, and regular stakes contender Boban in the 2015 Expressway Stakes.
“He’s a no-fuss kind of horse who has come up well without any issues and he’s ready to go back to the races,” Messara said.
“He’s not screwed down by any means, but he’s fit enough to run a nice race.”
The lightly run Panzer Division kicked off his first official campaign in the spring with a runner-up finish in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) last August before winning the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m).
The colt earned his place in the field for both the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), finishing a solid fifth in both.
After resuming in the Expressway Stakes, Panzar Division will kick off his autumn campaign in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) on February 21 before the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) a fortnight later.
“After that we haven’t made any plans, we’ll just see how he’s going then make some decisions,” Messara said.
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