Group 1 winner Beaten Up is a chance of making his return to racing in the 2015 Expressway Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday after being included in the nominations for the Group 2 event.
Beaten Up has not been seen at the races since he suffered a serious tendon injury in the lead-up to the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but he showed that he was ready for a return to racing by producing two strong barrier trial performances at Rosehill Gardens on January 6 and January 20.
The imported galloper could be joined in the Expressway Stakes by a number of stablemates; with trainer Chris Waller also including Bagman, Boban, Hawkspur and Weary in the nominations for the race.
Boban was unable to perform at his best in his four race starts during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he gave the indication he was back to a semblance of his best form when he scored an impressive victory in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens on January 20.
Bagman was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a credible fifth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 and has been given two quiet barrier trials ahead of his return to racing, while Hawkspur could make his first appearance at the races since he finished 11th in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
Weary stamped himself as a horse to watch when he finished in the placings in both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) last autumn, but he did not come up in the spring and he was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6.
The Astronomer Royal gelding finished second in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens on January 20, but Waller is yet to confirm whether the five-year-old will return to the races in the Expressway Stakes.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2015 Expressway Stakes nominations is Paul Messara-trained three-year-old Panzer Division.
Panzer Division stamped himself as a horse to watch when he beat Shooting To Win to take out the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6 and he was given an opportunity at weight-for-age level in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and he finished a credible fifth.
The Redoute’s Choice colt was saved for the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and received a sprinkling of support in the lead-up to the race, but jockey Tye Angland set a suicidal pace in the early stages and the three-year-old tired late to finish fifth.
Group 1 winner Driefontein, tough gelding Malavio, the speedy That’s A Good Idea and the Peter Moody-trained duo of Plucky Belle and Thermal Current round out the 2015 Expressway Stakes nominations.