A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
After a disappointing spring last time in the Chris Waller-trained Weary is set to bounce back and return to form according to jockey Tommy Berry who is keen to jump aboard the French import in Saturday’s 2015 Expressway Stakes.
Sydney’s premier trainer Waller dominates the $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens numbers-wise this year saddling up five of the 11 hopefuls in the weight-for-age summer showdown.
Expressway Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is currently led by Paul Messara’s promising young Redoute’s Choice colt Panzer Division ($3.40) who returns to racing here.
Occupying the second line at $5.50 is then the best-fancied of Waller’s quintet, Weary.
Drawn in barrier four with Berry booked for the ride, the Astronomer Royal gelding hasn’t raced since finishing dead last when 12th behind smart Kiwi mare Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) in the mud back on September 6 last year.
That was his third unplaced spring run on the trot in Sydney, form Waller and connections are hoping the Group 1 performer can improve on this time in.
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival was Weary’s first campaign down under and he made a great impact with five top three runs from as many starts.
His sole win was in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) before he ran third in an all-Waller first four led by the defending champion Sacred Falls at Randwick in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) as the beaten favourite.
Weary ran second in another Group 1 next start to finish off his preparation when runner-up to Japanese mare Hana’s Goal in the All Aged Stakes over 1400m.
After a three and a half month spell though he came back a different horse without his spring spark, but after some impressive pre-season performances Berry believes Weary is set to recapture his best form.
The horse runs first-up in the Expressway Stakes after a second, when ridden by Hugh Bowman, in a 900m January 20 trial at Rosehill.
Berry was absent for the horse’s spring but rode him in the Doncaster and All Aged last autumn.
“Weary didn’t come up in the spring but Mr Waller didn’t press on with the horse’s campaign,” Berry told The Daily Telegraph.
“He knows when his horses are not at their best and he tipped Weary out straight away and gave the horse that extra break into autumn.
“I haven’t been on Weary’s back since he ran those good races in the Group 1s last year but I watched his trial the other day and he looked really impressive.”
Wet weather in Sydney sees Rosehill currently rated a Heavy (8).
While Weary boasts a strong record of two wins and a third from five runs on that surface, Berry would prefer for the track not to be too muddy.
“Weary is a horse that can perform first-up and the track will be rain-affected so that will definitely suit him,” Berry said.
“I don’t want it too heavy as it can take something out of a horse when it’s resuming.
“But he is up against a lot of horses having their first-up runs so they are all in the same boat.”
Weary could also make an appearance in Melbourne this autumn having been nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Super Saturday, March 14.
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