A FAVOURABLE draw has put Expensive Ego in a strong position to return to the winners’ circle at Club Menangle tomorrow.
Unbeaten from six starts last season – including two Group Ones – Expensive Ego suffered his first defeat when runner-up at the same venue a fortnight ago.
The son of Rock N Roll Heaven hadn’t raced since winning at the 1400-metre circuit on August 31, 2019.
“He was sent for a spell at the start of the season and had one trial on his way back last December before going sore,” trainer David Thorn said.
“He only had a small tear, but we weren’t taking a risk with him.
“He probably couldn’t have gone any better than what he did in his first run, so I was happy with his performance.
“That said, his work has improved since and he will be fitter again this time, which he will want to be against a strong field.”
Set to contest a New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge heat, Expensive Ego is expected to settle forward from barrier two.
To be driven by Jim Douglass, the Australian Pacing Gold purchase is on the third line of betting at $3 with TAB Fixed Odds.
In what shapes as an intriguing battle between quality three-year-olds, Mach Dan is the $2.10 favourite from barrier five.
The son of Mach Three will make his debut for Tim Butt having previously been trained in Victoria by record-breaking horsewoman Emma Stewart.
Crunch Time is the $2.90 second elect from gate four.
“This will be a good test for him,” Thorn said. “He’s got to be able to beat or at least be competitive against these tomorrow if he is to be considered a chance of winning the Final.
“There are some very nice types in the race, with Mach Dan and Crunch Time the pair to beat.”