Trainer tips sparkling autumn for mare

By: Mandy Cottell Wednesday 27 January 202

John Sargent does not expect Emeralds to upstage her higher-profile Expressway Stakes rivals but he is anticipating a profitable autumn from the emerging mare.

Emeralds established herself as a genuine stakes performer in the spring, placing in the Golden Pendant and claiming the scalp of subsequent Villiers Stakes winner Greysful Glamour in the Angst Stakes.

Sargent says she has returned better again this preparation and he has set his sights on the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 13 as her ultimate goal.

"I think she will have a real boom autumn, especially if there is a bit of rain around," Sargent said.

"We will kick her off there on Saturday and then she will go to the Guy Walter after that, then the Coolmore Classic."

A quality field of eight will contest the Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill following the early scratching of Southern Lad, who will instead tackle a support race.

The Group Two sprint will feature the return of Caulfield Guineas and Golden Rose winner Ole Kirk, who has drawn the inside, and classy Godolphin mare Savatiano, who has gate two.

The pair were equal $3.60 favourite with TAB fixed odds on Wednesday.

Emeralds typically improves off her first-up run and Sargent expects that to be the case again.

"It will be too short for her but it will kick her off anyway," he said.

Jason Collett will partner Emeralds in the Expressway Stakes and has been booked to ride her for the duration of her autumn campaign.

Barn mate Readily Availabull will take his place in the Canonbury Stakes (1100m) after making a rapid recovery from a stone bruise that forced his scratching from the Magic Millions Classic.

He will have 10 rivals, among them the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Construct, who showed promise at his only appearance when runner-up to Shaquero in the Breeders' Plate.

Nine fillies will contest the Widden Stakes (1100m), including Star Thoroughbred's youngster Divina who was balloted out of the two-year-old event at Randwick last Saturday.

The Astern filly is unbeaten in two barrier trials and will take on Gimcrack Stakes placegetters Mallory and Total Babe.