Melbourne’s weather will have the final say on the autumn reappearance of Express Pass.
Trainer Nick Ryan has accepted with the three-year-old in the Alinta Energy Handicap (1000m) at The Valley on Friday night and the Group Three Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Ryan prefers The Valley option but a predicted top temperature of 41 degrees on Friday worries the trainer.
Where Express Pass starts may be out of Ryan’s control with Racing Victoria monitoring Friday’s forecast to determine if The Valley meeting proceeds having transferred the earlier Werribee meeting to Monday.
“I’ve got a couple of days to think about it but I’m worried about the weather and whether The Valley goes ahead,” Ryan said.
“At this stage he’ll be going to The Valley, but that could all change.
“He’s come back in terrific order and I’m excited to get him back to the races.”
Express Pass has raced five times, registering a Bendigo maiden win at his second start last August.
He then finished third behind Dalasan and Dubious in the Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington before two unplaced runs in the Guineas Prelude and Caulfield Guineas.
Ryan offered excuses for both runs with a horse falling in front of Express Pass in the Prelude while the trainer doubted the colt ran the 1600m of the Guineas.
For that reason Ryan now intends to keep Express Pass to shorter trips with the Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22 pencilled in for the colt’s next outing.
Ryan said The Valley race, a three-year-old benchmark 70 contest was a nice option for Express Pass to resume, but is not afraid to pit the colt against Saturday’s line-up if required.
“He’s been in their company before so I certainly wouldn’t be frightened of running him at all,” Ryan said.
“Friday night’s the softer option, but if he has to run Saturday, I’ll be going there confident he will run well.”