A talented field of just eleven runners have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s featured Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens, highlighted by the inclusion of some of the autumn season’s most highly-anticipated runners.
Breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level over the distance in 2014, trainer Gai Waterhouse has confirmed Driefontein in the 2015 Expressway Stakes final field.
Securing eight wins and a further seven minor places from her 33 competitive appearances on course so far, Driefontein followed up an autumn and winter prep in 2014 highlighted by victory in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) with a credible performance for sixth in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) first-up this time on October 11th.
Running second to Deep Field in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) on November 1st, the Fastnet Rock mare was unable to match the pace when tenth in the major Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on week later, but has responded well in finishing sixth in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) and fourth in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) most recently.
Allocated the ideal barrier 5, Driefontein has been confirmed to be partnered by notable jockey Blake Shinn and is more than a chance for success in the 2015 Expressway Stakes.
Charged with overcoming the wide and relatively awkward barrier 11, talented three-year-old Panzer Division made a strong impact over his maiden racing preparation in spring and is reportedly in great condition leading into his racing return in the Expressway Stakes.
Claiming two wins and a close second place finish through his five start career so far, Panzer Division beat a classy field to the line by close to four lengths on debut on July 19th before finishing a close second to stable mare Scissor Kick in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) on August 23rd.
Returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) on September 6th, the Redoute’s Choice colt laid a great account for himself when fifth amongst open company in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 20th and returned to the paddock following a fifth place finish in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 11th.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to be offered several key chances for success in the 2015 Expressway Stakes after including five runners in this final field, including Boban and Hawkspur.
A three-time Group 1 winner, Boban won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) most notably over the 2014 autumn; and while returning to racing in spring in similarly devastating form, was unable to find the line in the clear.
Having completed several impressive trials and hit-outs in the lead-up to his racing return, Boban is offered a great chance of first-up success in the Expressway Stakes from barrier 3.
A Group 1 winner in his own right having taken out the 2013 edition of the Queensland Derby (2400m), Hawkspur will leave from the rails draw in the 2015 Expressway Stakes and is yet to have a rider confirmed.
Claiming eight wins and seven minor places over his 36 start career, the Purrealist gelding won the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) most notably over spring; progressing to a credible fourth in the George Main Stakes and eight in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) most notably.
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2015 Expressway Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|2||3x9021x42x||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||–||2||58.5kg||110|
|4||32132x560x||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||–||4||58.5kg||106|
|6||640x53480x||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Christian Reith||6||58.5kg||101|
|7||394×127822||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||10||58.5kg||99|
|9||x378x58353||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||8||58.5kg||89|
|10||0720×62064||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||5||56.5kg||107|
|11||12155x||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||James McDonald||11||55kg||88|