The first race, the Westspeed Nursery Handicap (1400m)at Belmont on Wednesday July 4 promises to seen a keen duel between top weight Bear Express (Ryan Hill) and Royal Hotness (Shaun O’Donnell).
Both babies have been to the fore in their limited careers and Bear Express races in the Oz Racing Syndicate colours of gold with purple stars.
Bombora (Pat Carbery) has been wearing those colours with distinction of late, with a recent double, and Hill will again ensure they are to the fore.
Whereas Bombora is trained by Simon Miller, Bear Express is trained by Neville Parnham who has been the main trainer for Oz Racing over a long period.
Bear Express led for most of the journey at his last race before being finishing second, some two lengths behind Flying Solo over 1300m on June 20.
The Bearcat youngster was fourth at his only other race behind Star of the Orient on June 6 but again only 1.8 lengths from the winner. He raced greenly on that day and would have been placed if he had run straight, according to jockey Pat Carbery.
Parnham would have liked to have retained Carbery but by legging Hill aboard the apprentice takes 1.5 kg off the back of Bear Express, bringing that galloper’s weight down to 56.5 kg.
Oz Racing Syndicate Manager Bruce Saxild said that Bear Express was a half brother to classy gallop Dampier Dayz, a winner of two of his four starts.
Trained by Jim Taylor that galloper promised much before breaking down after twice beating Moneghetti in the Spring of 2009.
However Saxild considers Royal Hotness to be a major chance based on that filly’s first race third behind Flying Solo.
“She missed the start and was held up for a run in the home straight. On that run and with a pull in the weights she may be a tough one to beat,” Saxild said.
However, Royal Hotness has drawn very wide (17) whereas Bear Express has drawn barrier 7.
Parnham also said that Southern Princess could not be discounted after her fourth to Songburg at Northam. Songburg has since gone on to win again, at Belmont last Saturday, in impressive fashion.
However, Parnham expects Bear Express to cope with the extra 100m and said the galloper had trained on well since his recent second.