North Island raider Xpression underlined why she is the favourite to take out next month’s Gr.1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) when she handed out a beating to her age group rivals at Ashburton on Saturday.
The stylish Showcasing filly was heavily favoured to take out the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) and gave her supporters little cause for concern throughout the contest.
Regular rider Sam Collett had a virtual stranglehold on her charge as she looped the field on the point of the turn to issue her challenge before dashing clear to defeat Our Flying Ace with Fire Show battling on gamely for third.
Co-trainer Grant Cullen, who prepares the filly with Guy Lowry from their Hastings base, was satisfied with the win as he looked ahead to a greater challenge at Riccarton next month.
“It was a nice ride as she got a nice track into the race,” he said.
“The only concern was travelling so far from home but she’s thrived since she has been here so it was fantastic to see her come through today.
“She will be based here now and won’t race again between now and the Guineas.
“We have no real set plans but might look at a jump-out if she thrives but failing that it will be straight into the Guineas.”
TAB bookmakers reacted quickly to the win, with Xpression now at a $2.80 quote to win the fillies feature at Riccarton on November 17 from Melt at $4 while today’s impressive Rotorua winner Media Sensation has shortened to $8 in the Fixed Odds market.
Runner-up Our Flying Ace has also tightened in the market for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) on November 10 with his $6 quote placing him on the second line of betting behind race favourite Madison County at $2.80. – NZ Racing Desk