Group One winners Trapeze Artist, Hartnell, Le Roman and Alizee are all expected to line up in the Expressway Stakes at Rosehill with the four among six entries taken for the Group Two sprint.
Nominations have been left open with Dothraki and Lanciato the other two among the nominations taken on Monday for Saturday’s race.
Even though the numbers are small, Lanciato’s trainer Mark Newnham admits it will still be tough for the dual stakes winner who is headed on a sprinting path this campaign.
His past two preparations have been geared towards 1600m-races but after his unplaced runs in the Epsom Handicap and Doncaster Mile, his trainer will keep him to slightly shorter races.
“I’m not sure he runs out a strong mile,” Newnham said.
“The Expressway is the right race to start him off in but with horses like Trapeze Artist and Alizee in it, it certainly won’t be easy.
The Group Three Liverpool City Cup on March 2 and Group One Canterbury Stakes a week later are both over 1300m.
Lanciato finished third in a Warwick Farm barrier trial last week in preparation for his return.
Formerly trained in New Zealand, Lanciato was one of the first horses sent to Newnham’s stable when he took out his licence three years ago after 30 years experience firstly as a jockey then as foreman for Gai Waterhouse.
While the now six-year-old has been a stalwart for the stable, Newnham will be looking ahead with two-year-olds Blazing Miss and Exceed The Stars who run in Saturday’s Group Three Widden Stakes and Group Three Canonbury Stakes respectively.
The Widden for fillies has attracted 18 entries while the Canonbury for colts and geldings has 10 nominations.
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