Day At The Track

Double Expresso in with a shot

04:49 PM 30 May 2019 NZST
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Double Expresso,Harness racing
Double Expresso
Scott Hamilton Photo

Talented filly Double Expresso faces her toughest test to date when she lines up in Friday night's Group 1 Diamond Classic (2130m). 

The Sweet Lou filly has put together an imposing record of six wins from seven starts, clearly the pick of this season's two-year-olds, but a wide barrier draw in seven has raised question marks if she's good enough to win the $100,000 feature.

Double Expresso burst on to the scene with a 9.4m win at Bunbury in February over the mile.

She then bought that form to town with commanding performances in both the heat and the final of the Sales Classic.

However, the filly's momentum was bought to a screeching halt when she finished third to Jaspervellabeach in the Champagne Classic (2130m).

The Ross Olivieri-trained filly bounced back with a sound performance in the Diamond Classic heat, rating 2.00.2 in the 3.1m win.

Double Expresso's time was the slowest of the four heats, but if there were any chinks in the armour reinsman Chris Lewis is struggling to find them.

"She's done that comfortablly," Lewis told GPTV of the heat win. 

"It was probably a little bit too easy.

"All it means is Ross has to adjust his workload in between and she should be fine."

Since its inception in 2004, Lewis has won the Diamond Classic on three occasions with Dilingers Reign (2005), Sensational Gabby (2011) and Lady Luca (2016). 

Lewis said Double Expresso was deserving of being one of the main fancies in the Group 1 from the wide barrier, but was still mindful of the her long-term prospects.

"She's capable still of playing a big part in that race," he said.

"She's still got to grow into herself a little bit.

"She should be a pretty nice three-year-old, you would reckon."

One three-year-old Lewis does get the chance to drive on Friday night is the Vicki Lea-trained Gee Jay Kay.

Gee Jay Kay was made to trial after his last start fifth in the Group 2 Pearl Classic on May 18.

The gelding broke soon after the start which ended his prospects of winning the race.

However, he produced the run of the race to bounce back and finish fifth behind Theo Aviator.

Gee Jay Kay now has to start from barrier nine for this Friday's APC By Schneider Electric 3YO Pace (2536m). 

The son of Western Terror will have his work cut out to return to the winners stall, given the Justin Prentice-trained duo of Back In Twenty and Know When To Run have drawn to his inside.

Lewis said he was disappointed Gee Jay Kay had the bad luck in the Group 2 last start, but indicated he would make a few changes going into Friday night.

"He'd been going exceptionally well," he said.

"Overall, we were probably a little bit too confident. 

"I think we will drive him a little bit differently, a little bit conservatively and within himself. 

"He can obviously do some work in a race, there's no two ways about that.

"It's a matter of being close enough."

The pair of youngsters headline a busy night for Lewis, who will also team up with Madame Meilland, Dominate The Dojo and Im Full Of Excuses among his other drives on the 11-event program. 


Tim Walker

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