Precocious youngster Xpression has overcome an illness that halted her bid to add further black type to her record.
The Showcasing two-year-old won the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham at her second start and hasn’t been seen since.
“Unfortunately, she developed a virus that meant she didn’t go to Wairoa and then on to the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes,” said Grant Cullen, who trains the filly with Guy Lowry.
“It wasn’t the end of the world and the time away has helped her. She’s back in work now and doing well.”
Xpression is being prepared for an early season fillies’ feature on her home track at Hastings. “We’ll be looking at the Gold Trail Stakes with her, that’s the first target,” Cullen said.
“She looks like she could be top notch so the 1000 Guineas in the South Island is the ultimate goal.” Talented stablemate Savvy Dreams is also back in the yard following a spell.
“She hasn’t done as much work as Xpression and we’ll look at the Livamol on the last day of the carnival for her,” Cullen said.
“She probably won’t run in the two lead-ups (the Makfi Challenge Stakes and the Windsor Park Plate), but will possibly run in the mile race on the first day.”
Wait A Sec won the latter event last year on the way to claiming the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m). The winner of two of her 14 starts, Savvy Dreams has measured up encouragingly at the top level.
She finished third in last season’s Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) before running fourth in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m).
This term, Savvy Dreams was fourth in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m), fifth in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and again fourth in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m).