Returning to racing in competitive form this season, trainer Jarrod Austin is confident veteran gelding Territory has the class to succeed in Saturday’s featured Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
Securing a commendable race record of six wins and a further 13 minor places from 36 appearances on course so far, Territory jumped from the gates well in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) first-up on January 9th, receiving a relatively good run in transit before unluckily hitting interference on the home turn; recovering well enough to place a credible third.
Confident that result pointed towards a successful campaign targeted at black type success, Austin told AAP both he and the connections have been thrilled with Territory this year and are confident conditions at Rosehill this weekend will play directly into his strengths.
“The owners had a good look at the race and decided to have a go at it,” Austin said.
“There are some quality Group One horses resuming that have never won over six furlongs so we thought Territory deserved a chance at a race like this.
“He is not going to be going far into the carnival. He likes wet tracks and he likes Rosehill so this is his best chance to win a big race.”
Beginning his racing tenure under the care of Lee Freedman before arriving in the care of Austin at the conclusion of 2012, several of Territory’s racing campaigns have be hindered by an ongoing leg condition, however the Warwick Farm trainer believes he is more than capable of seeing out a full preparation this time in.
“He has a bad joint which has been with him all along and we just have to manage it,” Austin said.
A standout for Austin over his 2014 racing preparation, Territory ran fifth in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) first-up; progressing to third in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) most notably on July 9th before taking out a Rosehill Gardens sprint over 1200m on August 16th.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Expressway Stakes is due to be completed and released by midday Wednesday.
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