Dual Group 1 winner Pride Of Dubai is among the sixteen nominations for the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Pride Of Dubai was one of the star two year olds during the 2015 Autumn Carnival with wins in the Group 1 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and in the Group 1 $1m ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
But the Street Cry colt was ruled out of the 2015 Spring Carnival because of bone bruising in his near hind fetlock joint but he has shown no problem with the injury this preparation and is ready to return to the races after competing in two recent barrier trials.
Pride Of Dubai scored a win in a 838m barrier trial at Randwick on January 12 followed by a fourth over 800m in a Warwick Farm trial today on a wet track.
“It is just good to have him back,” Paul Snowden told Racing Ahead.
“He has had a long lay-off and a horse of his ability is going to race at a high level.
“We need to have him pretty well up to the mark and ready to go.”
Smart sprinter Vashka heads John O’Shea’s six Godolphin owned horses nominated for the Expressway Stakes, with Generalife, Barbed, Tarquin, Shards and Alegria all entered for the Group 2 sprint.
Vashka has worked his way up through the classes and found his best form during the 2015 Spring Carnival with wins in the Group 2 $175,000 Leonay Plumbing Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill and in the Group 3 $150,000 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Smart mare Solicit is one of two horses nominated for the Expressway Stakes from the Gerald Ryan stable along with King’s Troop.
Solicit was spelled after winning the Group 3 $150,000 Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (1500m) at Sandown on November 14 and looks to have returned in great order with a second to the speedy Our Boy Malachi in a 900m barrier trial at Rosehill on January 19.
“She didn’t have long in the paddock and has come back really well and happy,” Ryan said.
“The plan is to run in the Expressway, the Millie Fox and the Guy Walter before the Coolmore Classic.”
The Team Hawkes trained Our Boy Malachi is also among the nominations and is cetain to start one of the favourites on that barrier trial win.
2014 Group 1 Galaxy winner Tiger Tees is also resuming in the Expressway Stakes with trainer Joe Pride taking the eight year old to Hawkesbury for a barrier trial where he ran second to Path To Freedom over 760m on January 18.
Three year old Counterattack is the only horse nominated from the powerful Chris Waller stable.
Expressway Stakes nominations: River Lad, Tiger Tees, Vashka, Generalife, Our Boy Malachi, Big Money, Solicit, Pride Of Dubai, Forget, Barbed, Counterattack, Private Secretary, Tarquin, Shards, Alegria, Knig’s Troop.