Horses To Follow » Expresso Star

Expresso Star

The ground fears for Expresso Star before the Lincoln on Saturday proved to be largely unfounded. The official description of good to firm was confirmed to be accurate by the times on the day, but John Gosden’s team was happy enough that it was safe enough for them to allow Expresso Star take his chance, and he ran out a hugely impressive winner. Jimmy Fortune kicked him on at the two-furlong pole primarily because there was a group racing on the stands side that could have had the upper hand at the time, but also because the son of War Chant proved last year that he stayed 10 furlongs on soft ground well. It was a move that was to pay rich dividends, as the partnership cleared away impressively to come home clear, two and a half lengths in front of Zaahid, in a really impressive time, 0.19secs/furlong faster than Racing Post standard and almost a second and a half faster than the Spring Mile run earlier in the day.

The handicapper will undoubtedly have a say now, and raise Expresso Star significantly from Saturday’s rating of 97, but it may be irrelevant now anyway. Gosden is a master of coaching improving handicappers into listed and group company, and Expresso Star should be good enough to follow in the hoofprints of Pipedreamer, winner of the Cambridgeshire at the end of 2007 off a mark of 102 and placed in two Group 1 contests last season before winning a Group 2. Expresso Star has a long way to go to scale those heights, but he is hugely progressive, he is not absolutely dependent on cut in the ground now, and he could have a big season ahead of him.

28th March, 2009