The 2015 Expressway Stakes field has been released and leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller is set to have almost half the runners after included five horses in the acceptances for the Group 1 event.
Headlining the Waller charge in the Expressway Stakes is triple Group 1 winner Boban, who will be returning to the races for the first time since he was unable to record a race win during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Boban (barrier three) started his spring preparation with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9 and he missed the placings in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30 and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 before he was sent to the spelling paddock following the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4.
The Bernardini gelding was given a quiet barrier trial over 800 metres at Warwick Farm on January 8, but he showed that he was back to his best when he scored an impressive win in a trial at Rosehill Gardens on January 20.
Weary (barrier four) is another Waller-trained galloper that failed to come up in the spring and he will have an opportunity to return to his best form this weekend after being included in the 2015 Expressway Stakes field.
The imported galloper was well-backed in the lead-up to both the Missile Stakes and the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), but he was unable to replicate the form that saw him finish third in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and he was sent back 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 most interesting Waller-trained galloper in the Expressway Stakes is Beaten Up (barrier two), who will be having his first race start since he finished second in the 2013 edition of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
A tendon injury has kept Beaten Up away from the races, but he impressed onlookers with the way he performed in two barrier trial appearances at Rosehill Gardens on January 6 and January 20 and is sure to take plenty of fitness benefit from the race.
Veteran gelding Bagman (barrier nine) and 2013 Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur (barrier one) are the other Waller-trained gallopers that have been included in the acceptances for the Expressway Stakes.
Happy Galaxy is the only three-year-old that has won the Expressway Stakes in the past seven years, but Panzer Division (barrier 11) will have the chance to join the likes of Mentality (2007) and Saintly (1996) as three-year-old winners of the race this weekend.
Panzer Division has not been seen at the races since he took up the running at a very fast tempo in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11, but he finished a close third in a barrier trial over 750 metres at Royal Randwick on January 15 and has previously taken on older horses when he finished a credible fifth in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
The 2015 Expressway Stakes field is rounded out by the returning Malavio, Takeover Target Stakes placegetter Territory, Team Snowden-trained That’s A Good Idea, inconsistent gelding Thermal Current and Group 1 winning mare Driefontein.