Tommy Berry insists everything is right for Our Boy Malachi to resume on a winning note despite an indifferent lead-up to the Expressway Stakes.
Our Boy Malachi had his critics after finishing at the back of a nine-horse barrier trial field at Warwick Farm on Monday when he bombed the start and didn’t make an impression during the 800m heat.
But Berry said it would be unwise to assess the sprinter on what he described as a piece of conditioning work heading into the Group Two Expressway at Rosehill on Saturday.
“Once he (was slowly away) I held him together at the back. Once again he wasn’t overly happy in the ground coming around the corner so I kept him on the bit as he needs to run on Saturday,” Berry said.
“There was no point busting his gut … so it was just more of a fitness run.”
Our Boy Malachi suffered a bleeding attack when down the course in the Doomben 10,000 during last year’s Brisbane winter carnival in a rare disappointment since joining the Hawkes training operation.
In six starts for the family racing partnership, Our Boy Malachi has won four times and was Group One-placed in the BTC Cup.
“He’s back as good as he could be,” Berry said.
“Hopefully he can find the right Group One where he can get over the line because he definitely deserves it.”
Bookmakers are on the same page as Berry, making Our Boy Malachi the $2.50 favourite over Generalife ($3.50) in the weight-for-age race.
Generalife is the only Godolphin acceptor from an entry list of six, but weather and track conditions will determine if the John O’Shea-trained speedster fronts up on Saturday.
“The tracks have been wet and he’s not really at home on soft ground,” assistant trainer Darren Beadman said.
Gerald Ryan has two potential Expressway runners with King’s Troop joining Solicit after the race fell away at acceptance time.
Ryan said he was keeping an open mind on King’s Troop’s next start.
“I’m happy with the horse. It’s just whether I think he is ready to take on that class yet,” Ryan said.
Rosehill has been rated in the soft range and showers are forecast leading into a meeting that is a traditional starting point for the Sydney autumn carnival.