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Express trip to WFA for Kote?

Speedy 3YO a chance to tackle Group 1 winners in Expressway Stakes

Anthony Cummings' first thought after Kote's trial win at Randwick on Monday morning was to wait until next month to launch the gelding's campaign, but the lack of entries for Saturday's $250,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes has him reconsidering.

The three-year-old was one of just four horses nominated for the 6 f weight-for-age event, joined by Group 1 winners Forbidden Love and Golden Mile, along with 75-rater Takissacod.

Entries have been extended until 11am Tuesday, meaning there is certain to be more than four runners in the race that offers $6100 for fifth and pays $3500 down to 10th, with Cummings throwing in a late entry for Kahawaty, who also won a trial on Monday.

Cummings was eyeing the $200,000 Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) or a 5 f benchmark 94 race at Randwick the following Saturday as a kick-off point for Kote, but said the Expressway Stakes might be too good to resist.

"Honestly, on the trial, I thought we'll probably wait until the fourth (of February) and run in either the Eskimo Prince or that benchmark race but then when I looked at the nominations and it would be silly to let the opportunity to go by when the horse is pretty much ready to go," Cummings said.

"We'll see how he pulls up from the trial and make a decision on Wednesday morning. We might even pay up and then have a look-see."

Kote, who hasn't started since winning the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) on October led all the way to defeat Joyful Fortune and Zou Tiger in a 4 1⁄2 f Group and Listed trial that also included high-profile stablemate She's Extreme, Numerian, My Oberon and Osipenko.

It was the son of Choisir's second trial after finishing runner-up to Nominator in a 3 1⁄2 f Randwick trial in which Golden Mile finished third on January 9.

"He's come back a stronger horse and he hasn't lost any of his speed," Cummings said.

She's Extreme finished seventh, beaten just over three lengths, in her first public outing since winning the VRC Oaks and Cummings said the daughter of Extreme Choice is on track to resume in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) on February 25.

"She was very good, she got back, ran on and did it within herself," Cummings said.

"Her action was good, so I was very happy and she enjoyed the day out."


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