Standout's Expressway Stakes

Another top line three-year-old raised the bar at Randwick on Saturday with the Gerald Ryan trained Standout under Tommy Berry winning the $200,000, Group 2 TAB Expressway Stakes (1200m) with Ryan now planning a further rise to the heights of Group 1 racing.

Standout, the full brother to 2013 Golden Slipper winner Overreach, has a Group 1 pedigree being by Exceed And Excel out of the Snippets mare Bahia and he is a home-bred for George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud.

While Overreach was the ultimate two-year-old winner, Standout will wait until the autumn of his three-year-old career to achieve the same status, possibly in the $500,000, Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on the Randwick Guineas programme on Match 7th.

On Saturday Berry waited in fifth racing one off with Standout as Irithea and Josh Parr led the field across the top with White Moss and Kathy O’Hara following. The $1.90 favourite Alizee and Hugh Bowman were last of the seven runners.

Standout cornered out in the middle of the track and Berry allowed the colt to cruise up to the leaders approaching the 300m. He looked to his right to check on progress of the favourite and she was not there as she was following directly behind Standout, but not making up enough ground to threaten.

Berry sent Standout up a gear and away the colt went to a clear 1 1/2L winning margin over Alizee (Sepoy) and Bowman with White Moss (Mossman) and O’Hara third, the margin 1/2L. Kolding (NZ) was a closing fourth and Glenall fifth.

The time was 1.09.56 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 34.12. Standout paid $8.50 on fixed odds and $6.90 on the tote.

Standout and Tommy Berry, picture

“This was just his fifth start in a race so I have thrown him in the deep end, but it was either stay back with the three-year-old’s or try him in this race and decide where to send him later in the autumn, “ said Ryan.

“I think the way he won that and the way Tommy rode him I could name him in anything I reckon.

“As a young horse he used to over race and George agreed to forget about the autumn and just tip him out. We gave him time, Kelly who rides him in work has put in a lot of effort to get him to switch off  and he is just going beautifully.

“He has always shown that he has Group 1 ability, he has not got there yet, but he is certainly going to have a crack at them this autumn.

“The better sprinters have to come back, these are not the A grade sprinters he beat, but he has got improvement in him and after all it is just his fifth start in a race,” he said.

“I said to Gerald before that it looks sticky and I did not really want to push forward or drag him back. He is a real momentum horse with a massive stride so I said that if we are three wide I will just make him comfortable,” said Berry.

“I said to Hugh when we were pulling up that we beat them on the corner as I felt that when I asked him to quicken he put them away very quickly. He got a little tired late so there is improvement there, but he is a lovely colt to have anything to do with.

“Like most good horses when you watch them it is like in slow motion and it feels like that when you ride them. I thought he was Group 2 sort of horse, maybe just behind the Group 1 horses as the three-year-old’s this year are out of this world, the best crop I have seen. But he might be getting close to them.

“He has to improve off that, but he has beaten the older horses now,” he said.

Standout won the listed Heritage Stakes over 1100m at Rosehill back in September and then placed second in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes over 1200m at Randwick in October before Ryan sent him to spell.

Saturday was a step up and much more awaits the colt with the big white blaze over the coming weeks. Stakes have increased to $315,365.

Berry congratulates Standout, picture

Expressway Stakes, photo finish picture ATC