Group One Goal Beckons For Savatiano

Godolphin mare Savatiano has justified her favouritism to win the Expressway Stakes at Rosehill.

The race morning scratching of Ole Kirk took some gloss off the Expressway Stakes but Savatiano made the most of his absence to dominate the Rosehill feature.

Sent out a $2.10 favourite, Savatiano controlled the race from the outset and while Kolding briefly raised the hopes of his supporters when he started to give chase, he could not bridge the gap.

Savatiano scored by two lengths over the two-time Group One winner with Emeralds an eye-catching third.

Trainer James Cummings said the race mapped perfectly for the front-running mare and felt if Ole Kirk had run, he would have had his work cut out.

“It was a very good race for her. The wet track probably took some of the class out of the race with the scratching of the three-year-old but he would have needed to be pretty good today to beat Savatiano,” Cummings said.

“She’s a pretty good mare. Her record speaks for itself. She is more mature now and she is a pleasure to train.”

The win was Savatiano’s fifth at Group Two level and Godolphin has deliberately kept the six-year-old in training to try to claim an elusive Group One.

Cummings believes she is now at full maturity and ready to add the missing piece to her race resume.

“I think she is well and truly in the right form to have a crack at a Group One at her next start,” he said.

“The Canterbury Stakes is in March so I will probably put her on ice until then so she will be coming into that race fresh.

“Credit has to go to the (Godolphin) boys who had confidence in her to keep her going for another season and I think she might be capable of repaying the faith.”

Hugh Bowman said the Expressway (1200m) was easy pickings for Savatiano, who responded to his urgings when he asked her for an ultimate effort.

“Even though I had it as easily as I did in the first quarter, I made her switch on at the 600 metre mark because I thought I’d take the race by the scruff of the horns instead of waiting for the pressure to come,” Bowman said.

“Once I switched her on and got her up onto the bridle she just picked up. From the 350 metres I asked her to stretch out and stretch out she did.”

Kolding was responsible for an outstanding return on an unsuitable soft surface and signalled he was on target for a lucrative autumn, while stablemate Star Of The Seas hit the line late for fourth.

Trainer Chris Waller said both would head to the Apollo Stakes where they would face a clash with star stablemate Verry Elleegant.

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