With Chris Waller saddling five of the 11 sprinters in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday, there was always a good chance the top Sydney trainer would emerge victorious.
Ultimately it was five-year-old gelding Weary that won the race for Waller, which is perhaps the most contentious horse in his stable.
The French import kicked off his Australian career with first three finishes in all five of his starts last autumn, which included a minor placing in the Group 1 Doncaster Miler (1600m). However he failed to maintain this success during the spring, finishing outside the placings in all three of his starts, including finishing last in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m).
After four months in the spelling paddock the gelding is back on track thanks to the enlistment of a pony, winning the 2015 Expressway Stakes a short head in front of Driefontein ($5.50) with Territory ($14) another length behind in third.
“He is a horse who has given me a few headaches,” Waller told Sky Racing.
“After the spring we brought in a pony as a companion for him.
“Sometimes he just wouldn’t gallop but he has settled down now with the pony and works properly.
“I’ve never had a horse like him. He is one in a thousand.”
Gai Waterhouse’s Drifontein looked the winner right up until the post but hoop Tommy Berry managed to sneak in late aboard Weary.
“He was going to run fourth or fifth and in the last 50 metres he found another gear,” the jockey said.
“Mr Waller has found the key to him this preparation. He ran really well in a barrier trial and brought it to the races.”
Waller didn’t have much luck with the rest of his runners after Bagman, Beaten Up, Boban, and Hawkspur all finished one after each other in seventh to tenth place.
All five horses will be nominated for the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 14.
“I think it’s likely they will all run next in the Apollo Stakes,” Waller said.
“I’ll weigh them all up.”
Check out the race results and finishing order for the 2015 Expressway Stakes below.
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2015 Expressway Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||4||WEARY||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||–||4||58.5kg||$7|
|2||10||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||0.1L||5||56.5kg||$5.50|
|3||8||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Sam Clipperton||1.1L||7||58.5kg||$14|
|4||11||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||James McDonald||1.2L||11||55kg||$4.40|
|5||6||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Christian Reith||1.9L||6||58.5kg||$16|
|6||9||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||2.1L||8||58.5kg||$16|
|7||5||BAGMAN||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||2.3L||9||58.5kg||$31|
|8||2||BEATEN UP||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||2.9L||2||58.5kg||$41|
|9||1||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||3.4L||3||58.5kg||$5.50|
|10||3||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4.6L||1||58.5kg||$41|
|11||7||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||6L||10||58.5kg||$6|