2024 Expressway Stakes Results: King Of Sparta Wins Ahead of The Quokka

February 17, 2024

2024 Expressway Stakes Results: King Of Sparta Wins Ahead of The Quokka

The airborne King Of Sparta kept the wins coming with Team Snowden’s talented sprinter confirming his credentials for April’s $5 million The Quokka with a Group 2 Expressway Stakes 2024 win in Sydney.

2024 Expressway Stakes winner King Of Sparta

2024 Expressway Stakes winner King Of Sparta was excellent saluting on a Saturday in Sydney for the first time. Photo: Steve Hart.

It was five weeks between runs for the in-form I Am Invincible gelding who posted his first every Sydney Saturday victory with a barnstorming late run right over the top of his rivals in the $300,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m).

The Expressway Stakes result made it back-to-back wins for the gelding who was so dominant at the Gold Coast back on January 13 with a two-length victory in the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) over the same six-furlong distance.

“He’s in great form. As we’ve handled him the last few years it’s really working with him. Little breaks in between, less is more for him. He’s certainly paying us the dividends now,” co-trainer Paul Snowden told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.

King Of Sparta was given a perfectly timed ride in the Expressway by ace hoop James McDonald who was able to reel them in inside the final furlong.

“I was actually (confident),” McDonald said.

“Lobbed into a lovely spot and the pace really quickened from the 600m.

“I just had to bide my time a little bit and he come up the rise under his own steam even though I was spotting them so far.

“He’s got a lethal turn of foot. He’s just a good horse, he’s so solid.”

The Bjorn Baker-trained Malkovich set a blistering pace up front looking to go all-the-way and had a six-length lead at the top of the straight.

Odds-on favourite Buenos Noches racing first-up meanwhile settled back last in the run and was too far off them to challenge in a somewhat disappointing return for Matthew Smith’s Group 1 Champions Sprint runner-up from the spring.

Malkovich started to tire with 150m left to run as the Joe Pride-trained The Hunter winner Coal Crusher and King Of Sparta made their moves.

In the end a flashing finish had King Of Sparta ($4) on top ahead of the brave Coal Crusher ($10) who finished second after running in that position the entire trip.

“We spoke at length before, we just wanted to back the horse’s ability. If they do go a little bit hard, which we did think it was on the cards, to get him home and James (McDonald) rode him accordingly. We got the best out of him late, which was great,” Snowden said.

Third wen tot Malkovich ($13) who scrambled to hold onto a minor placing just ahead of the beaten short-priced favourite.

King Of Sparta holds a slot in Western Australia’s second edition of The Quokka race on April 20 running for Seacorp / Hallowell.

Snowden said the team would now plot a path towards WA keeping in mind the toll of travelling across the country.

”It’s a juggling act I suppose,” he said.

“How we want to prepare him to get him over there in as good a order as we can. We’ll make that call probably in the next week or so but maybe just a trial.

“Obviously we’ve got to compensate with the plane trip over.

“It’s really exciting for the ownership group and exciting for the horse to race for really good money.

“I know he’s been a great money-spinner for them, but it’s going to be a good trip away.”

King Of Sparta is an $8 shot to take out the lucrative Ascot feature later this campaign, with the latest The Quokka 2024 odds available from Ladbrokes.com.au by clicking here.

2024 Expressway Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 1 KING OF SPARTA Peter & Paul Snowden James McDonald 2 57.5kg $4
2 2 COAL CRUSHER Joseph Pride Tyler Schiller 0.42L 5 57.5kg $10
3 6 MALKOVICH Bjorn Baker Joshua Parr 0.76L 4 56kg $13
4 4 BUENOS NOCHES Matthew Smith Nash Rawiller 1.42L 6 56.5kg (cd 57kg) $1.75F
5 5 STRAIT ACER Edward Cummings Tommy Berry 3.82L 3 56kg $17
6 7 WEST OF DALBY Benjamin Smith Brock Ryan 4.66L 7 51kg $51
7 3 GOLDEN MILE James Cummings Zac Lloyd (a) 5.54L 1 57.5kg $11

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


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