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Explosive sprinter continues stellar run for Flemington trainer

Nick Ryan will be hoping his magical run can continue all the way through until Easter and the emerging trainer has reason to believe it might after Express Pass returned to the winner’s list at Flemington on Saturday.

The explosive sprinter progressed from his encouraging first-up third placing behind Malkovich and Brooklyn Hustle, who were both engaged in Saturday’s Group 1 Galaxy at Rosehill, to win the $200,000 VOBIS Gold Comet (1000m).

The Wandjina five-year-old will now head to the inaugural running of the $500,000 The Country Discovery (1100m) at Sale on Good Friday, April 15.

“He’ll go to a target race we’ve targeted this prep, the Good Friday Sprint at Sale,” McLeod said.

“It’s a half-a-million dollar race and he’s on track.

“I said to the owners, he’s come back probably the best he’s ever come back this prep. He’s really seasoned and tough and hopefully he can make that next step because that’s probably all he’s got to do.”

Express Pass made it seven wins from his past 13 starters for Ryan, who had four winners at Echuca last Sunday, when he held off the fast-finishing Zorro’s Dream.

The gelding was ridden in trademark patient style early by Rhys Mcleod and cruised into the race at the 200m before digging deep to hold off the late challenge from Zorro’s Dream in a time of 58.20 seconds.

At the line the $4.80 chance had a short-head to spare over Zorro’s Dream ($3.90) with Fine Dane ($18) 1-3/4 lengths away third.

“When I gave him a squeeze he quickened really quick and put paid to the them quickly but froze once he got there,” McLeod said.

“His win was really good, but I pushed the button too soon.”

Express Pass has now won six of 22 starts with the $110,000 winner’s cheque and Super VOBIS money from Saturday’s race taking his career earnings to $502,875.

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