Victorian trainer Nick Ryan will make a rare trip to Sydney with talented sprinter Express Pass after bypassing a stakes race in Melbourne.
Express Pass was among nominations for last weekend’s Listed Carlyon Stakes at The Valley but Ryan decided Saturday’s Members Christmas Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill was a better target.
Not only is Express Pass unbeaten in three starts at the distance, Ryan believes the experience of an interstate trip will help the four-year-old’s development.
“It looks a suitable race for him and the trip away will do the horse good,” Ryan said.
“He has really trained on super.”
Group Two placed behind Dalasan as a spring three-year-old, Express Pass was gelded after missing a place in the Zeditave Stakes in February.
He returned to win his first two starts at Bendigo and Caulfield and has been kept fresh since his midfield finish behind Shamino in Listed grade last month.
A former star apprentice, Ryan is no stranger to NSW tracks having started his training career in Albury.
Now based at Caulfield, Ryan is recognised as one of Victoria’s most promising young trainers and claimed the Colin Alderson Rising Star Award last season, shortly after celebrating his first stakes success with Sircconi in the Listed Winter Championship Final at Flemington in July.
Express Pass is an $8 chance in early TAB fixed odds markets which have the James Cummings-trained Pandemic as a $3.50 favourite.