Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Talented young mare Double Expresso was heading for the breeding barn a few short weeks ago — unless her form improved dramatically.
Ross Olivieri, an eight-time leading trainer in WA, decided to change her work in a last-ditch bid to prolong her career, and the four-year-old has responded to the change and burst back to form with a most impressive victory in the 2130m Harnessthedream.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Double Expresso went into the race with a losing sequence of 13, stretching back to her all-the-way win over Gardys Legacy at Gloucester Park last April.
“The cream rises to the top,” declared a happy Olivieri after Chris Lewis had produced a splendid drive to land Double Expresso, a $10.80 chance, a two-length winner over Alta Rhett ($7).
“The race was set up for her, with the fast early pace favouring horses coming from behind, and she had the class to do it.”
Double Expresso started from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line and she settled down in tenth position while the $2.80 favourite and polemarker Blue Blazer defied a spirited challenge for the lead from $8.50 chance Thereugo as the lead time was covered a fast 34.9sec.
After solid opening quarters of 30sec. and 29.4sec. from Blue Blazer, Lewis sent Double Expresso forward, three wide, approaching the bell, and for a while in the back straight the mare enjoyed a respite in the one-out, one-back position before she got to the breeze at the 300m and dashed to the front on the home turn and careered away to win in effortless fashion.
Olivieri explained Double Expresso’s return to form by saying: “We have tweaked her training a bit. Instead of looking after her and being careful with her, we decided that she only got to a certain level doing that. So, we had to change her training by working her on the track at Byford and get her on top of the ground and get her out of the heavy sand.
“We have been doing that for two weeks. She has had two hoppled runs at Byford, the first one was good and the second one was extra good.
“Two starts ago I said that if she didn’t improve, she would go to the breeding barn. But she put her hand up, and she will now keep racing and go to stud towards the end of next year.
“It is always difficult to win from barrier nine, but Chris (Lewis) made all the right moves.”
Lewis has handled Double Expresso in all of her 30 starts that have produced 13 wins, eight placings and stakes of $327,644. She was an outstanding two-year-old when she won two $100,000 classics before winning the group 2 Daintys Daughter Classic as a three-year-old in February 2020.
Double Expresso is by the American stallion Sweet Lou and is out of the Rich And Spoilt mare Here For The Money, who had 79 starts for seven wins, 18 placings and $81,874 in stakes. Double Expresso is a half-sister to the brilliant Shockwave (47 starts for 19 wins, 17 placings and $514,802).