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Expressway Stakes win sets Savatiano up for a well-deserved G1

Mike Hedge

A Group One reward awaits Savatiano after the talented mare registered her fifth win at G2-level in the Expressway Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, 30 January.

In a brilliant, front-running display, Savatiano took control of the race from the jump and was never threatened, cruising to the line two lengths clear of Kolding with Emeralds a distant third.

The win was Savatiano’s 12th in a career that has also netted 12 minor placings and more than AU$2.1 million in prizemoney.

While she has been placed at the top level in the Tatts Tiara in Brisbane, Savatiano is yet to win a G1 race, but trainer James Cummings has plans to rectify that situation in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick on 6 March.

“She’s returned well, she takes control of these sort of races, she’s very, very mature now,” Cummings said.

“Credit has to go the boys who to have confidence to keep her in training for another season.

“She might be capable of repaying the faith, I’d like to think she be very hard to beat in the Canterbury Stakes.”

Jockey Hugh Bowman had Savatiano away cleanly from her inside gate and his positive riding in the first 50m set up the victory.

“There wasn’t a lot of pressure in today’s race. Even though I had it easy in the first quarter I had to make her switch on at the 600m,” he said.

“Once she got up into the bridle she just picked up and at the 350m I asked her to stretch, and she did.”

Savatiano’s win followed that of the two-year-old colt Zethus in the G3 Canonbury Stakes, the performance verifying his claims on better races later in the autumn.

Having only his second start, Zethus’ hopes looked forlorn at the 200m when Home Affairs dashed two lengths clear.

But the son of Exceed And Excel maintained his concentration and as Home Affairs began to tire he surged to the line to win by a half-head.

"He ran beautifully first up and I think he's backed it up by improving a bit today," Cummings said.

"He knuckled down so strongly against a very classy colt and I'd say he's looking for 1,200 metres next time."

Cummings said Zethus would be given every chance to keep progressing to the better autumn juvenile races.

"It's only the end of January. There are quite a few steps to take before we get to the big races but he is doing everything right so far," he said.

"He's got lots of upside and the best attitude to improve as a two-year-old.

"This horse is in all the races so we will just pick the spot that is going to be sweet enough for him."