Express Pass

Express Pass (Image: Racing Photos)

Fresh is best for Express Pass

Express Pass has done enough in his work to convince connections he can further his already impressive fresh record at Flemington on Saturday.

Express Pass has won two and been placed at his other two first-up outings and his trainer Nick Ryan said he feels the horse is again at the stage where he's ready to fly fresh in the 1100-metre Donate to National Jockeys' Trust Handicap.

"He's a very talented horse," Ryan said on Friday. "He's got a lot of ability and he generally flies fresh. I think he's been placed in all four first-up runs.

"A Benchmark 78 at 1100 metres down the straight looks ideal for him." 

Express Pass' trainer said that the inside barrier down the straight course is a minor query, but otherwise he can only see him running well.

"Barrier two, I am not too sure about, but Rhys McLeod rides and he knows the horse very well," Ryan said.

"He had a solid jumpout here last Friday on the inside grass at Flemington and since then he's really come on in the coat and trained on so I am very confident he will run well tomorrow."

Ryan confirmed import Dice Roll - who is unbeaten in two runs in Australia - will stay at home this campaign and aim up for the Winter Championship series at Flemington.

Dice Roll had been entered for the Stradbroke Handicap, but Ryan said the Winter Championship series, won last year by his galloper Sircconi, looks perfect for the horse.

"He's had about nine days in the paddock since his last win at Sandown," Ryan said. "He will more than likely trial at Traralgon on the 7th (June) and there's a (Winter Championship) heat on the 19th (June) here at Flemington and then two weeks into the Winter Championship final.

"He's done very well in his time off and I think he put on about 20 kilograms and he looks terrific so I'm excited about getting him back to the races.

"He's a very, very exciting horse - it's hard not getting excited talking about him."