Group 2 racing returns to Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, and a strong edition of the Expressway Stakes headlines the ten-race program.
The rail will be set out six metres around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Good (4) range.
Race 1 - 12:25pm AEDT
Highway Plate (1500m)
This week’s Highway race is a typically open affair, and a horse like Golden Gorge has claims on winning at a lovely price ($16 at publish).
Golden Gorge has returned three competitive efforts since transferring to the care of Matt Dale, running second in the Moruya Town Plate and finishing a credible fourth in a similar race to this one here at Rosehill last time.
He steps out this week in peak order, and he is over the odds in my opinion.
2 Units E/W Golden Gorge
Race 2 - 1pm AEDT
Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m)
There’s hardly any form to study leading into this year’s Canonbury Stakes, but I thought that Flashing Steel did enough on debut to figure in this contest.
Flashing Steel was a pricey yearling, and he trialled well prior to debuting, ultimately overcoming plenty of obstacles to finish a credible third here a fortnight ago.
I’m expecting plenty of improvement for that experience, and we can have an each-way play at around the $12 mark.
2 Units E/W Flashing Steel
Race 3 - 1:35pm AEDT
Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m)
Ebhaar was an impressive winner on debut, and I am confident that she can keep alive her unbeaten career start when she resumed in the Widden Stakes.
The I Am Invincible filly was an impressive trial winner prior to debuting and put the writing on the wall with an eye-catching win at Listed level in November.
She has again trialled well in the lead-up to this race and with even luck, she’ll take a power of beating.
6 Units Ebhaar
Race 4 - 2:10pm AEDT
Chandon Handicap (1500m)
And We Danced has been knocking on the door of a win since arriving in Australia, and I am going to give her another chance on Expressway Stakes Day.
The Wrote filly has made four appearances at the races since arriving in Chris Waller’s care last month, and she has finished second in races here at Rosehill and Randwick.
Fitter third-up and under James McDonald, this is her time to strike.
5 Units And We Danced
Race 5 - 2:45pm AEDT
Midway Handicap (1300m)
Military Exprt is another resuming galloper with serious claims on winning at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Redoute’s Choice colt was a strong and consistent performer throughout his debut preparation, and ended his prep with consecutive placings at Group 3 level.
He’s had the benefit of a couple of trials leading up to his return and he’ll relish the drop in class.
6 Units Military Expert
Race 6 - 3:20pm AEDT
Schweppes Handicap (2000m)
Crystal Pegasus looms as the galloper to beat in Race 6 on Expressway Stakes Day.
The five-year-old son of Australia returned several eye-catching effort last time in, and his prep was highlighted by an impressive win in a race not to dissimilar to this.
He kept on through the line to finish second over 1500m here a fortnight ago, and getting out to 2000m will prove ideal for him second-up.
5 Units Crystal Pegasus
Race 7 - 4pm AEDT
Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m)
Some talented gallopers will step out in this year’s Expressway Stakes, but none moreso than the two-time Group 1 champion and Ladbrokes Cox Plate runner-up, Ananmoe.
He was nothing short of outstanding in 2022, and his win in the Caulfield Guineas was almost topped when he went down in an agonizingly close finish in Australasian’s weight-for-age championship.
He has been set some understandably lofty goals this prep, and he can kick it all off with a win in the Expressway.
7 Units Anamoe
Race 8 - 4:40pm AEDT
Ned Whisky Handicap (1500m)
The strong and consistent Yiyi will take his place in Race 8 at Rosehill on Saturday, and he is primed to win.
The No Nay Never gelding hasn’t missed placing at his last eight trips to the races, winning his final two starts last prep and finishing second behind Kingsheir here earlier this month.
He’ll take plenty if improvement for that hit-out, he can turn the tables on that galloper and beat the rest this week as well.
5 Units Yiyi
Race 9 - 5:20pm AEDT
Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m)
Bjorn Baker will saddle a couple of live chances in this contest, but I think that the market is just about right, and race favourite Rule Of Law can record another win.
Rule Of Law has been nothing short of outstanding this prep, recording three wins from as many starts, and taking his place this week following an eye-catching win in a similar race here.
He is rock-hard fit, the 1200m is ideal and the booking of James McDonald certainly doesn’t hinder his chances.
5 Units Rule Of Law
Race 10 - 6pm AEDT
Precise Fire Handicap (1400m)
I’m happy to have something on the favourite, Narvaez, in the last on Expressway Stakes Day.
Narvaez has been a great horse for the Waterhouse & Bott yard since debuting, and he returned to the races with a nice effort to finish third in BM70 company at Flemington.
He’s a winner at this point of his preparation previously and he gets into this race well under the conditions.
4 Units Navaez