Promising three-year-old Alabama Express is on target to chase a Group One win against older horses after performing to his trainer’s expectations in his first appearance of 2020 at Flemington.
Alabama Express sprinted to a two-length victory in Saturday’s Donate to Salvation Army Disaster Appeal (1100m) against his own age, encouraging trainer Mike Moroney to press on with plans to run the colt in the Group One CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 8 .
The Orr is run under weight-for-age conditions at Caulfield and Moroney believes it could set up well for a three-year-old such as Alabama Express to figure against older horses early in their campaigns.
Alabama Express, by the late Redoute’s Choice out of Lago Ovation, won the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during his spring preparation before being given a let-up after his midfield finish in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
“I think he’s a Group One-class horse,” Moroney said.
“He’s always had unbelievable ability all the way through.
“It’s just a matter of going straight and he’s learned to go straight now.
“He’s a colt with a fantastic pedigree and he’s as good a type as you’ll see.
“We’ve just got to win a Group One with him now.”
Alabama Express, ridden by Michael Dee, defeated Little Rich Boy, with stakes winner Banquo a short half-head further back in third.
Moroney believes stepping Alabama Express up to 1400m at his next start will not be a problem.
“I was a bit worried about his fitness levels today and he still won well,” Moroney said.
“So he’s obviously a bit further forward than what I thought.”