Group 1 winner Beaten Up will return to the races in the 2015 Expressway Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and trainer Chris Waller is confident that the talented import will take plenty of benefit from his run in the Group 2 event.
Beaten Up took out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) and he was set for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but he suffered a tendon injury ahead of the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) that has kept him away from racing for the past 18 months.
Waller does not believe that Beaten Up is a winning chance in the 2015 Expressway Stakes, but the leading trainer is confident that imported galloper can return to his best form during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and he confirmed that the seven-year-old will contest the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 and the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 before stepping up to 2000 metres for either the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) or Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 14.
“Beaten Up is a class horse and he is likely to need the run,” Waller said.
“He has been off the scene for about 18 months and normally my horses take three runs to hit their winning form.
“We will hopefully get him towards a Ranvet or an Australian Cup.
“It will be his fourth run so he needs to run here; he will be second-up in the Apollo, third-up in the Chipping Norton and then bang.”
Waller also has Boban, Bagman, Weary and Hawkspur in the 2015 Expressway Stakes field and he believes that both Hawkspur and Bagman are capable of surprising at good odds in the Group 2 event.
Hawkspur has never record a first-up win, but Waller believes that he will be a horse to follow during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, while he believes that Bagman has shown in the past that he is capable of winning over shorter distances early in his campaign.
“Hawkspur is a long distance horse, but he is a pretty sharp horse and he shouldn’t be discounted fresh,” Waller said.
“He will run a cheeky race and he will be the horse to follow out of the race for sure.
“Bagman did a great job last prep and he ended up winning a couple in Melbourne with big weights.
“I brought him back up here and he ran third in a weight-for-age mile race, so he is a pretty versatile galloper.
“He has won a couple of races at 1200 and 1300.
“He might be a sneaky chance.”
Weary ($5.50) has been the best backed Waller-trained runner in Expressway Stakes betting markets, while Hawkspur ($19), Beaten Up ($26) and Bagman ($34) are all available at double figure odds.