Three-year-old Shamexpress has warmed up for his Group One autumn carnival assignments with an easy first-up win at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Sent out the $2.50 favourite in the Chandler Macleod Premier Handicap (1000m), Shamexpress never looked in danger, sitting just behind the lead before ambling up to the leaders around the home turn.
He defeated Day Procedure by a length with 1-3/4 lengths to third placed Flamberge.
Trainer Danny O’Brien said the race was a stepping stone to feature Group One sprints with the Newmarket Handicap the colt’s major target.
“He’ll either run in the Lightning Stakes or Oakleigh Plate next,” O’Brien said.
“His race that I think he can win is the Newmarket over 1200 metres, down the straight at Flemington.
“He’ll have a very light weight.”
The Moonee Valley victory was Shamexpress’ first win since his debut over 1200m at Flemington a year ago.
His most recent start was a third to Nechita in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in November, and O’Brien said the colt would take plenty of benefit from the outing.
“He was very fresh. We just wanted to get him here, jump him out tonight and get him on the way,” O’Brien said.
Shamexpress was ridden by premiership leader Glen Boss who labelled the colt a “Group horse in waiting”.