Jockey Josh Parr is banking on race fitness giving Kuro a distinct advantage over Group 1 winner Music Magnate when they face off in the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Joe Pride trained Kuro will be having his sixth run this campaign since November while Doomben 10000 winner Music Magnate will be lining up for the first time since running sixteenth to Under The Louvre in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the 2016 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
“Obviously Music Magnate is a very talented horse but we’ve got the race fitness on our side,” Parr told AAP.
The Bjorn Baker trained Music Magnate joined the Group 1 winning club when he proved too strong for the field in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.
While Kuro is the winner of two his last three starts with a victory in the Listed $125,000 Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on December 3 three starts back and a last start win in the Listed $125,000 De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 13.
Parr was very impressed with Kuro’s finishing burst in the Takeover Target Stakes and can see the five year old a major threat in the Expressway Stakes if he can repeat that winning effort.
“His turn of foot was electric,” Parr said.
“I travelled off the speed which I think is suiting him this preparation.
“He’s really hard to fault because he’s won two black-type races this preparation.”
Kuro was hailed as a future top grade sprinter after recording two Group 1 placings during his three year old season with a third to Brazen Beau in the 2014 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in the Spring and a second during the 2015 Autumn Carnival in the $400,000 Canadian Club Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill and Parr thinks the gelding could be competitive again at the highest level.
“He definitely has the turn of foot of a really good sprinter. I just think he needs a few things to fall into place for him at that level,” Parr said.
Music Magnate is marked at $2 with Ladbrokes.com.au to score first up in the Expressway Stakes while Kuro is on the second line of betting at $4.40.
Kuro’s stablemate Ball Of Muscle is the third pick in the small field of six at $5.50 and is coming off a last start third in the Takeover Target Stakes after setting the pace.