By Ray Hickson
Three suspensions in two months have Jason Collett eager to convert a prime opportunity for a feature race win on exciting colt Addictive Nature at Rosehill on Saturday.
And he’s approaching the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) with a high degree of confidence after riding the Bjorn Baker-trained three-year-old to his latest impressive trial win.
“I've had quite a few spins on him in trackwork so it was nice to get on him in a trial and he seems to be coming up really well,’’ Collett said.
“It was what we wanted. We got cover, he relaxed okay and finished it off very strongly. It was a good feel.’’
Addictive Nature has only had the four career starts so is the least experienced runner in the Expressway but showed quality in winning the Group 3 Ming Dynasty back in August and placing in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes before a spell.
Addictive Nature cruises to an easy win in his January 22 trial at Rosehill
With a 77 benchmark rating he’s also the lowest rated horse among the eight runners, and appears thrown in the deep end on paper, but Collett said he has potentially the most upside.
“It does look like a nice race and he's experienced enough,’’ he said.
“You hear weight-for-age and that sounds like it's the deep end but you look at the race and it's a bunch of three-year-olds and a few older horses.
“He oozes class, that's for sure.
“That's why Bjorn has put him in this race first-up, he feels he is classy enough and it is a nice stepping stone towards the (Randwick) Guineas.’’
Baker won the race last year with his Group 1 winning sprinter Music Magnate. The last three-year-old to win the Expressway is Happy Galaxy who was successful in 2013.
Addictive Nature was pressing for Expressway favouritism with TAB on Thursday at $3.20 behind Global Glamour ($3.00).
Among Collett’s rides at Rosehill is the Danny Williams-trained Mister Marmalade in the TAB Highway (1500m).
When you see a Williams horse in a Highway they always command respect but this time around Mister Marmalade appears the third stringer behind emerging gallopers Acquittal and Kopi Luwak.
The five-year-old, a $19 chance with TAB, resumed with an eye-catching third behind Runway Ready at Randwick on January 6 running clearly the best last 600m of the race (34.79 Punters Intel).
“He went really well last start,’’ Collett said.
“We went back off the gate and he didn't get anything to drag him into the race so he made a long sustained run to finish it off.
“I know he has won over 2100m but I think he's best over the 1400m-mile journey.’’
Acquittal ($3.80) and Kopi Luwak ($1.95) are among Williams’ leading Country Championships contenders while he’s also aiming Don’t Give A Damn, who resumes in the final event at Rosehill, at the series.