Three-year-old colt Happy Galaxy, trained by the Hawkes’ stable, was clearly superior in winning the $200,000, Group 2 WFA Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday defeating the experienced older entrants with Jay Ford making full use of his weight allowance.
Happy Galaxy and Jay Ford win the Expressway Stakes, picture sportpix.com.au
Ford allowed Hurrara and Tommy Berry to surge to the lead and take the field through to the turn for the main straight while he sat outside with Happy Galaxy, but it was not for long.
The moment they straightened Happy Galaxy had almost decided on the next move himself pulling his way up alongside Hurrara. Ford held him up back for a few strides and then with 200m to run away they went to the line and the race was effectively over.
Seven-year-old Skytrain (58.5kg) and Christian Reith chased hard on the inside while fellow seven-year-old Centennial Park (NZ) (58.5kg) and Glyn Schofield came on the outer, but Happy Galaxy (55.5kg) had too much for them both.
Happy Galaxy (Nedeem) was a 1/2L ahead at the with Skytrain (Lonhro) second and Centennial Park (Thorn Park) third, the margin 3/4L. Tougher Than Ever (NZ) and Jim Cassidy were fourth.
The time was 1.09.82 on the Good 3 track with the final 600 in 33.81. Happy Galaxy paid $3.40 on NSW TAB.
Happy Galaxy has progressed through the ranks from a Bm70 over 1200m at Rosehill on New Year’s Day to winning the listed Zeditave Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield on January 26th... He only returned to the Hawkes Rosehill stables on Friday morning.
“It was only this morning that we decided (to race). I suppose it was fifty/fifty and it was on how he had travelled,” said Michael Hawkes.
“The signs were good and that was all that mattered.
“He has come a long way in a short space of time and no one has a better record with three-year-olds at weight-for-age than Dad. He knew what he was doing.
“He just keeps continuing to win and that is all that matters. We worked it out before the race and if Hurrara wants to go let him go, do not make it into a speed battle. I said that as long as you get round the corner with a lap full of horse and if you have got that you will nearly win,” he said.
Hawkes said after a five race campaign that had yielded four wins in succession that Happy Galaxy might have a spell.
“After we jumped I knew that Hurrara was the only thing that could bring us undone and we avoided that by just letting him go,” said Ford.
“We actually did not go that quick at all and it turned into a sprint home. The others were giving him weight and he is a tremendous horse on the way up and things are only going to get better for him,” he said.
Happy Galaxy, picture sportpix.com.au
Happy Galaxy, out of the King’s Best mare Seven Stars, has now raced just eight times for five wins and two places. He has earned stakes of $287,400 for his owner Mr H Ye.
Photofinish, picture ATC