Solo starts his trip to Group One glory

The Sportsman Special Issue - - 60 - By CARYL WIL­LIAMSON

SOLO Flyer will kick off an am­bi­tious au­tumn cam­paign when he takes on a star stud­ded field in Satur­day’s Ex­press­way Stakes at Can­ter­bury.

The An­thony Cum­mingstrained three-year-old was one of 15 en­tries for the Group Two race which will fea­ture Group One win­ners Bent­ley Bis­cuit, Para­troop­ers, Racing To Win and Sniper’s Bul­let.

The Ex­press­way sig­nals the re­turn of weight-for-age racing to Syd­ney.

Since racing re­sumed on De­cem­ber 1 fol­low­ing the equine in­fluenza out­break, most fea­tures have been run un­der qual­ity hand­i­cap con­di­tions.

Solo Flyer, who ran sec­ond to Meurice in last year’s Cham­pagne Stakes, will carry 54.5kg, three ki­los less than the older horses.

He’s com­ing along very well and will run in the Ex­press­way and then the Golden Rose, the Rand­wick Guineas and the Rose­hill Guineas,’’ Cum­mings said.

He has the pedi­gree to run the one-and-a-half miles of the Derby but he will prob­a­bly be out for a spell by then.

He’s ready to race now.’’ The AJC Aus­tralian Derby (2400m) will be run on April 26, five weeks later than orig­i­nally sched­uled af­ter the pro­gram was re­vamped in the wake of the EI cri­sis.

Solo Flyer and the John O’Shea-trained Racing To Win were among sev­eral horses to work be­tween races at Rand­wick on Satur­day.

O’Shea also has JustMambo and Fri­day Creek en­tered but most at­ten­tion will fo­cus on Racing To Win who hasn’t started since his fail­ure in the 2006 Cox Plate af­ter which he was found to have a mus­cle prob­lem.

He also missed the au­tumn but was back to full fit­ness in the spring be­fore EI hit.

It is a re­lief to have him back,’’ O’Shea said.

He was ready to go in the spring but ended up not be­ing able to race.’’

The last three-year-old to win the Ex­press­way was Men­tal­ity a year ago and he is one of three nom­i­na­tions from the John Hawkes stable along with Mal­colm and Danzippo.

How­ever, Hawkes said Danzippo was his only def­i­nite starter with Men­tal­ity cur­rently in Mel­bourne and also en­tered for Satur­day’s Group One Oak­leigh Plate at Caulfield.

Danzippo will run but Mal­colm is only a maybe,’’ Hawkes said.

We will make a de­ci­sion on whether Men­tal­ity stays in Mel­bourne for the Oak­leigh Plate or comes back to Syd­ney last in the week.’’

Solo Flyer re­sumes in to­mor­row’s Ex­pres­say Stakes

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