In a precursor to the autumn carnival, the first wave of trainer Chris Waller’s major contenders will step out in the Expressway Stakes at Rosehill.
Saturday’s 1200m Group Two race attracted 13 entries headed by the Waller-trained Group One winners Boban, Hawkspur and Beaten Up.
The premier Sydney trainer has also entered Weary, third in the Doncaster Mile, and Bagman.
“The aim for Boban is another Chipping Norton Stakes,” Waller said.
“Then he will probably have a break and maybe get ready for the Brisbane carnival.”
The winner of the Group One miles, the 2013 Epsom Handicap and Emirates Stakes and last year’s Chipping Norton, Boban suffered a bleeding attack in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in April.
Since then Waller has been careful with the distances he runs and how often.
“We won’t take him up to 2000 metres again and his form had tapered off by the time he got to the Epsom again, which was his fifth run of the preparation.”
The Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 is a target for Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up while the Ranvet at Rosehill a week later is a Group One aim for Hawkspur.
Waller said the Ranvet (2000m) was also on the program for Bagman.
“He has done really well and could be a surprise packet,” he said.
“I’m not sure if Weary will run or wait for another couple of weeks.”
That’s A Good Idea, second to Ninth Legion in the Carrington Stakes on Saturday, will come back 200 metres if Peter and Paul Snowden decide to back him up.
Waller also has a strong presence at Tuesday’s barrier trials with Victoria Derby winner Preferment and Melbourne Cup third placegetter Who Shot Thebarman among those to step out at Warwick Farm.
“The plan for Who Shot Thebarman is to run in the Chipping Norton Stakes first-up on his way to the BMW and the Sydney Cup,” Waller said.
“Preferment is going to the Australian Derby, but I’m not sure of his path yet.”