Highway has an opportunity to embark on the road trip of a lifetime with Group One-winning trainer Steve Englebrecht.
He only has a small team at Warwick Farm these days but Englebrecht, who won the George Ryder Stakes with Referral in 1999, is eyeing a stakes race with the versatile three-year-old filly.
“I’ve got six in work and a third of them are running at Rosehill,” Englebrecht said.
Highway is his leading hope after contrasting victories at Newcastle and Kembla Grange and if she makes a successful return to Saturday grade Englebrecht will firm up plans for a crack at the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on May 26.
She first stepped up to stakes company in October when she finished last in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality, 5-1/2 lengths from Group One placegetter Torvill.
“She’s improved quite a bit since then but she’s got to be able to handle this at handicap conditions,” Englebrecht said.
Highway broke her maiden first-up at Newcastle in March after stalking the leader, and at Kembla Grange last month regular jockey Deanne Panya rode her quieter from a wide alley before she surged home.
“I’ve always had an opinion of her,” Englebrecht said.
“She’s by High Chaparral so she’s got a good pedigree and she should get over some ground. I’ve got no qualms about her handling 2000 metres.”
Highway steps up to 1800m in the TAB.com.au Handicap in which she has drawn the outside barrier.
“We’ll pray there’s a fair bit of speed on to suit the back-markers and with her good turn of foot she might pick them off,” Englebrecht said.
Englebrecht also saddles up Goldfinch in the #Theraces Handicap, the filly’s first run over 1200m after recording all her four wins over 1000m on the provincial circuit.
“It may be beyond her but it’s time to have a crack,” he said.