Music Magnate is the dominant favourite to win the Expressway Stakes but Kuro’s jockey Josh Parr is counting on his mount’s fitness to spur an upset.
In a week when trainer Bjorn Baker lost exciting sprinter Winning Rupert to a lucrative stud deal, Music Magnate is odds-on to allay some of his disappointment with a first-up Group TwoExpressway Stakes win at Rosehill on Saturday.
Music Magnate is the only runner with a Group One win to his name having won last year’s Doomben 10,000 to give Baker his maiden elite-level success.
Kuro is the horse most favoured in the market to rain on Baker’s parade, rated a $4.60 chance to win the 1200m race.
“Obviously Music Magnate is a very talented horse but we’ve got the race fitness on our side,” Parr said.
Kuro has won two stakes races during his consistent campaign which kicked off with two metropolitan second placings.
His only disappointing performance came on a wet track and trainer Joe Pride later admitted exposing him to a wet surface denied him a chance to show his best.
Parr was successful on him in his last start win in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford and sticks with him for the sixth start of his campaign.
“His turn of foot was electric,” Parr said.
“I travelled off the speed which I think is suiting him this preparation.
“He’s really hard to fault because he’s won two black-type races this preparation.”
Kuro put together two Group One placings as a three-year-old colt when first trained by Pride.
Connections were hesitant to geld him but bit the bullet after his unsuccessful stint with Lee and Anthony Freedman and returned him to Pride’s Warwick Farm stable.
With the horse now on an upward trajectory, Parr believes if everything goes right he can once again match it in Group One company.
“He definitely has the turn of foot of a really good sprinter. I just think he needs a few things to fall into place for him at that level,” Parr said.
Parr also takes the ride on Group Three Cannonbury Stakes favourite Menari who he rode in his first barrier trial on December 20 before James Innes took over in the colt’s debut win at Rosehill on January 14.
“He just keeps improving with every bit of work he does,” Parr said.