Trainer Grant Williams will pull the pin on a summer preparation for Halo Express despite a superb victory at Ascot on Tuesday.
Halo Express was off the bit a half-dozen lengths off the leaders at the top of the straight but gave them windburn to win running away in the Yellowglen Hcp (1400m). “He will only have another run or two at most,” Williams said. “We’ve already pencilled him in for the Derby.”
The G2 WATC Derby (2400m) on April 11 is worth $400,000.
“His first-up run at Bunbury last month was good but he’s still doing things wrong,” Williams continued. “We’ve given him time because he had plenty of growing to do this year.”
Champion Mungrup Stud stallion Danehill Express sired him from Bolasque (Don’t Say Halo) who is from the family of Group 1 winner Chanteclair.
Halo Express has won twice and been runner-up twice in four starts for a syndicate that includes the trainer’s wife Alana along with Elio & Jacque Galante, Robert Tomlinson, Bruce Greenwood, Robert Moralee, Davin Elzas, Phil Eaton, Peter Richards and Clint Hunter. “Alana said he would appreciate extra ground,” Williams added. “And Elio is already talking to me about next year.”
Williams bought Halo Express as a foal for $6,000 at Perth Magic Millions Sale in July 2012.
Danehill Express was also represented by promising maiden winner Teddy Beau at Bunbury on Melbourne Cup day. He was caught on a limb after drawing an outside gate but was good enough to come away for a convincing victory.
Teddy Beau was racing first-up after a six-month spell for owners Keith and Peggie Beauglehole. His dam Peggie’s Business is a half-sister to champion sprinter Miss Andretti. The mare foaled her second colt by Mungrup shuttler Dick Turpin in September.
Danehill Express has another promising prospect ready to debut after the Lark Hill barrier trials earlier this week. His three year-old filly Divine Bay won a 950m hit-out on Monday and trainer Darren Mcauliffe has nominated for a Bunbury maiden next Thursday.
Divine Bay is raced by Geisel Park’s Eddie Rigg and is a younger sister to Express Service whose career has been highlighted by wins in the LR Challenge Stakes and Perth Magic Millions 3YO Trophy.
Mungrup stands Danehill Express for a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee.