Progressive gelding Chile Express will have the chance to record back-to-back wins for the first time in his racing career when he runs in the Great Strides Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Chile Express started his campaign with an impressive one and a half-lengths victory over Felidea and The New Boy in the Emirates Airline Plate (1400m) and trainer Robbie Griffiths told Racing Ahead that the Thorn Park gelding had trained on well from the strong first-up win.
The five-year-old looks like he may need a bit of luck from barrier eight in the 1400 metre event at Caulfield but Griffiths believes that Chile Express’s form is good enough to be competitive against a quality field this weekend.
“He is really well,” Griffiths said.
“We elected to give him a bit of time between runs coming off a big peak first-up run where he was fantastic, at Flemington.
“He has trained well since, he has come through the race in good order and it was pleasing to see him gallop really well on Tuesday morning.
“I am happy with him going into this run.
“He has drawn a bit average, we haven’t got the best of barriers on Saturday, but he has the right form on the board to be competitive.”
Chile Express has been consistent in handicap events in both Melbourne and at provincial Victorian venues but Griffiths does not believe that the City Of Dandenong Cup winner has lived up to his potential and feels that he is good enough to step-up and be competitive in black type races.
“He is a horse that has always shown potential and I don’t think that he has realized it all yet,” Griffiths said.
“We are hoping that he can certainly graduate to this type of grade, which he showed us at Flemington that he can do.
“If he can keep winning Saturday grade races maybe he can get to Listed level down the track.
“He has always been a horse that is aggressive in his racing so he has beat-up himself up a little bit.
“If he can get his head around racing, which he should do with maturity, he can get to Stakes level racing.”
Chris Waller-trained Disciple ($2.90) is a clear favourite in Great Strides Handicap betting markets but there has also been a sprinkling of support for Chile Express ($5), Danny O’Brien-trained The New Boy ($5) and Dato’ Tan Chin Nam-owned The Peak ($6).