(By John Jenkins)
Irish Express indicated he could develop into a star galloper in the south this winter when he cruised to a 4-1/2 length win in a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Riccarton on Saturday, revelling in the heavy track conditions.
The Ekraar four-year-old brought up his third success from only 14 starts and all three of those victories have been on the Riccarton track.
On Saturday Irish Express was settled well off the pace in the early stages by rider Terry Moseley but moved up easily to be in a challenging position approaching the home turn.
Moseley still had his mount under a strong hold when he bounded to the front inside the last 300m and when he finally gave the horse a bit more rein he quickly put the opposition away.
It was an overdue win for the connections of Irish Express as the gelding had been unlucky in his last two starts, the most recent over 1600m at Ashburton where he finished third after being slow away and then held up in the home straight.
“He probably was a certainty beat last start,” Moseley said after Saturday’s win.
“He goes well at Riccarton and on heavy tracks and he won emphatically today. He was going to win a long way out.”
Irish Express is trained at Gore by Ellis Winsloe and is out of the O’Reilly Irish Babe, who is now deceased but is also the dam of the good performers Irish Excuse (13 wins) and Accidental Offside (8 wins).