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Standout is almost certain to take his place against the older horses in the Expressway Stakes

Three-year-old Standout is almost certain to take his place against the older horses in the Expressway Stakes and be given the chance to emulate the feat of former stablemate Trapeze Artist.

Trainer Gerald Ryan has also flagged the Eskimo Prince Stakes on Saturday week as a back-up plan but says at this stage, Standout will run at Randwick.

“I’m ninety per cent certain he’ll race,” Ryan said.

“His work has been good. He only trialled Thursday week ago so we didn’t do a lot with him this week.”

The Ryan-trained Trapeze Artist was the last three-year-old to win the weight-for-age sprint two years ago, although he was more experienced at the same stage.

Trapeze Artist won it at his 10th start while Standout will tackle the 1200m feature at his fifth.

Ryan says it is unfair to compare the two but admits it takes a good horse to achieve what Standout,a brother to 2013 Golden Slipper winner Overreach, has in his first preparation.

The colt won his first three starts, culminating in a Listed victory, and finished runner-up in the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes before he was spelled.

“Trapeze Artist, by the time he got to the Expressway, had won a Black Opal, come sixth in the Slipper, third in the Sires’ and won a Golden Rose,” Ryan said.

“It’s a bit unfair on this horse to compare him and I don’t think the quality of the field Trapeze Artist beat was as good as Saturday’s.”

A field of nine has been assembled for the Expressway led by spring star Kolding, last year’s winner Alizee and Golden Slipper heroine Kiamichi.

Vegadaze will also run with his trainer Anthony Cummings keen to see how he measures up.

The gelding was competitive in strong company as an autumn three-year-old and was injured at his only spring start in the Missile Stakes won by Alizee.

Tim Clark has ridden the gelding regularly, including in two lead-up barrier trials, the latest when third behind Dreamforce and Standout.

While Vegadaze has wanted to overdo things at times, Clark puts it down to the horse’s competitive nature and is confident he will relax with the right run.

“He’s a very competitive horse. When something comes up next to him he wants to race it but if he can find cover he will relax well,” Clark said.

“With the likes of Irithea and Kiamichi, he might just get a lovely tag behind them.

“He seems to be going well so fingers crossed he will return to his best. All the indications are that he’s come back in really good order.”

Ryan’s other runners include juvenile Return With Honour who failed to handle a heavy track last start.

If he can bounce back on a firm track in the Canonbury Stakes on Saturday, he will head to the Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne.

 
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