The Expressway Stakes meeting will be held at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with light showers forecast for Sydney over the next couple of days, Rosehill is likely to border on Good/Soft condition on raceday.
The very promising Ljungberg from the Ron Quinton yard is going to win his third race from four starts this preparation in the Countdown To Golden Slipper Handicap (Sydney Race 4, 1400m). The 3YO won over 1200m when 1st up on the 14th December on a Heavy 8 track before annihilating the field over 1300m at Kensington four weeks ago. Last start, the gelding failed to run down Vegadaze after enduring a wide run in transit and will meet that horse 2.5kg better on Saturday. Ljungberg has also drawn much better (gate 1) this time in and he will be receiving the run of the race just behind the leaders on the fence. Stepping to 1400m 4th up looks ideal. Even with 60kg on his back, Ljuingberg is the horse they all have to beat.
The Kris Lees-trained Kool Vinnie will make his presence felt in the TAB Handicap (Sydney Race 5, 1400m). Last start in a BM 78 handicap over 1200m under 60.5kg, the 5YO finished a good 3rd beaten less than a length by All Too Royal. Racing in the same class on Saturday, the gelding will only carry 59kg after Robbie Dolan’s 2kg claim. Kool Vinnie has drawn beautifully in barrier 2 and he can handle any track conditions. Dolan will settle mid-field on the fence with a cushy run and watch Kool Vinnie finishing powerful in the run home. Currently at $9.50 in the fixed odds market, Kool Vinnie represents a terrific value bet.
Alizee is a class mare and she can continue her unbeaten run this preparation in the Expressway Stakes (Sydney Race 6, 1200m). Resuming in the Xmas Classic on the 29th December, Alizee really shown her class coming from second last at 800m under 60.5kg to circle the field to win by 1.5 lengths, sprinting her last 600m in 34.23secs. With five weeks between runs, James Cummings has sent the 4YO for a 900m trial on 15th January to keep her fitness up to the mark. Fresh from his winning double last weekend, come back jockey Blake Shinn will be on board on Saturday. With race fitness over the resuming Trapeze Artist, Alizee looks hard to beat.
By Owens Wong, Editor