Trainer Paul Messara admits that Panzer Division is not at peak fitness for the 2015 Expressway Stakes, but is still expecting the talented colt to perform well in the Group 2 event at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Panzer Division stamped himself as a horse to watch when he finished an extremely close second behind stablemate Scissor Kick in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and he recorded a maiden win at Group level in the Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at the same venue on September 6.
The Redoute’s Choice colt was given an opportunity against the older horses in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and finished a credible fifth before he was sent to the spelling paddock following a tough fifth in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on October 11.
Messara told TVN that he is happy with the condition of Panzer Division, but feels that he will take some benefit from the run and is surprised that the three-year-old is such a clear favourite in 2015 Expressway Stakes betting markets.
“To be honest I’m very surprised how short he’s been marked,” Messara said.
“This is a really good race with horses like Boban and Weary and maybe it’s because he’s got a bit of wet track form, but I am surprised by it.
“He’s a no-fuss kind of horse who has come up well without any issues and he’s ready to go back to the races.
“He’s not screwed down by any means, but he’s fit enough to run a nice race.”
Panzer Division is set to have his next race start against the likes of Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 before he takes on the best three-year-olds in the country in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Royal Randwick on March 7.
Messara has not recorded a Group 1 victory in Australia since talented sprinter Ortensia took out the 2011 edition of the Winterbottom Stakes before she went on to win the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai and the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes (1006m) in the United Kingdom.
Panzer Division is currently available at 2015 Expressway Stakes odds of $3.40 and he is a clear favourite from Weary ($5.50), Boban ($6), That’s A Good Idea ($7.50) and Driefontein ($8.50).