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Expressway ripe for an upset: O’Shea

Trainer John O’Shea believes the Expressway Stakes could throw up a surprise result.

Some potential kinks in the armour of the two Expressway Stakes favourites have convinced John O'Shea to test the black-type waters with improving sprinter Pizarro

The four-year-old has been scratched from a benchmark race at Rosehill on Saturday in preference for the harder assignment and O'Shea is happy to roll the dice against the likes of dual Group 1 winner Forbidden Love and Caulfield Guineas hero Golden Mile, who both have questions to answer in the race. 

Forbidden Love needs to rebound from an indifferent spring, while Golden Mile is new to weight-for-age level and has a racing pattern of settling off the speed, which O'Shea hopes might make him vulnerable around the Rosehill 6 f circuit. 

"To it's a funny race. It is hard to price Michael Freedman's mare (Forbidden Love), if she brings her A-game the race is probably all over but there is a little query on her," O'Shea said. 

"And a three-year-old first time at weight-for-age, there's a query there. 

"It's an interesting race and that's why we were happy to go to this race with our horse. He is fit and well and he may not be at this level at this stage of his career, but he will end up at this level at some stage of his career." 

Pizarro has finished in the top-three in all nine starts and was luckless first-up when he was buried in behind runners before getting out when the race was over, eventually doing his best work late for third to Titanium Power over the Expressway course and distance. 

O'Shea had earmarked Saturday's Rosehill meeting as a target for Pizarro, either in the Expressway Stakes or the benchmark race, and hoped that would be an advantage given the feature initially attracted just four nominations before a field of nine was declared. 

"The difference with Pizarro is he has actually been set for a 6 f race on that day," O'Shea said. 

"For a lot of the other runners in the race, apart from Michael 's mare (Forbidden Love), it was an afterthought, or it's not their grand final. 

"We've always thought quite highly of him. He has been a work in progress in terms of teaching him how to race, he can get aggressive at times, but he's got a lovely turn of speed and the All Too Hard's get better as they get older." 

Brenton Avdulla will partner Pizzaro, who has drawn well in barrier three. 


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