Annabel Neasham, trainer of Military Expert, is looking forward to a rematch with King Of Sparta in the Elite Sand And Soil Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Military Expert, a superbly-bred colt by champion sire I Am Invincible who cost $1.1 million at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale last year, was narrowly beaten by King Of Sparta at Kensington earlier this month.
But Military Expert’s impressive debut effort and a 1kg weight pull in his favour has prompted TAB Fixed Odds price assessors to rate Neasham’s colt as the $3.60 favourite ahead of King Of Sparta at $5.
“I think the first two horses home in that Kensington race are above average so this should be a good rematch,’’ Neasham said.
“Military Expert only had one barrier trial leading into that race so with his education he was a bit behind which made his run even better. Fitness-wise he will be improved, too.’’
Neasham is also looking forward to testing former Irish stakes winner Blue Soldier under Australian race conditions for the first time in the Quayclean Handicap (1300m).
“With a drying track, he will be suited and it will be interesting to see how he goes,’’ Neasham said.
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Meanwhile, Neasham welcomed back stable star Zaaki to her Warwick Farm training base earlier this week.
The boom six-year-old enjoyed a short break after his outstanding Brisbane winter carnival campaign that yielded wins in the Group 1 Doomben Cup, The Q22 and Hollindale Stakes.
“Zaaki’s a fully matured horse now but condition-wise he looks fantastic, he couldn’t be any better,’’ Neasham said.
“The Winx Stakes (August 21) will probably come up too soon for him but the Tramway Stakes (September 4) looks a nice race to kick him off.
“I want Zaaki to be fourth-up in the Cox Plate so his two runs in between have yet to be decided.
“He could possibly go to the George Main Stakes and the Hill Stakes is an option. His main target is the Cox Plate, I want him peaking for that race so I might look give him a lead-up run in Melbourne instead.’’
Neasham said Mo’unga is a little more forward in condition than Zaaki and is on track to resume in the Winx Stakes next month.
“We haven’t locked in a spring program for Mo’unga, either,’’ Neasham said.
“With Mo’unga and Zaaki, I just want to get their first runs under their belts and then work out what we do form there.
“They both handle wet tracks which is a help but if I had to choose I’m sure they are better on top of the ground.’’
Originally published asMilitary Expert ready to go one better at Rosehill
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