Gallant mare to stay in Sydney
The depth of nominations for the C F Orr Stakes has prompted trainer David Payne to keep Gallant Tess in Sydney and delay her tilt at an overdue Group One victory.
There were 16 entries for Saturday’s Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield but just 10 for the Group Two Expressway (1200m) at Rosehill, the mare’s home track.
Gallant Tess will be ridden by Hugh Bowman who returns from a lengthy suspension resulting from a three-horse fall at Rosehill on December 10.
Bowman replaces Jeff Lloyd who will be out for several weeks after breaking his foot in a pre-race mishap on Saturday.
"She will run here in the Expressway," Payne said.
"With the numbers nominated in Melbourne it could be very difficult if she goes down there and draws barrier 14.
"We really don’t want her to have a gut-buster first-up when she has other races in front of her during the autumn.
"She is a mare who really deserves a Group One win and this autumn could be her last throw of the dice as there’s every possibility she will go to stud in the spring.
"Hughie will ride and he is an great replacement to get."
Gallant Tess has won five races and recorded eight placings from her 24 starts including Group One thirds in the Champagne Stakes at two and the George Main Stakes and Epsom Handicap last spring.
All three races are run over 1600 metres at Randwick, the scene of the upcoming Doncaster Mile which is also on the agenda for Gallant Tess along with the Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes, both over 1500 metres.
The Payne-trained Hurried Choice will also run in the Expressway but stablemate Vecchia Roma will not start in the race.
Glyn Schofield will be aboard Hurried Choice who was ridden by Lloyd when she resumed to run fifth in the Canterbury Classic last Thursday.
"She has come through the race well and there’s no problem backing her up," Payne said.
Mentality, winner of the Champagne Stakes and George Main in which Gallant Tess ran third, is also entered for the Expressway along with Canterbury Classic winner Gold Trail.
The other nominations are Newport, Raheeb, Utzon and Queenslanders Burdekin Blues and Simplest.
By Caryl Williamson