Laxon: Exceed Express has room for improvement
Eight-time champion trainer Laurie Laxon's heart must have missed a beat when EXCEED EXPRESS could not stay near the fence round the bend for the shortest route home, travelling a few horses wide.
But his charge, who cost NZ$210,000 ($225,000) as a yearling, proved too good for his Restricted Terms rivals, comprising two and three-year-olds.
Three-year-old filly Lady Roulette loomed up dangerously at the 200m mark but could not get past the winner, going down by a neck.
Said Laxon: "He is quite smart. It's just the way he came around the corner that worried me a bit.
"You know, he could be a candidate for blinkers or something like that, just to make him a bit quick around the corner.
"He had a lot of ability when we had a hold of his head all the time, you know, like he was always travelling good, and Danny Beasley (during trackwork) let him work and he was always being held up. But you never know till you let the head go to see how good they can be, you know.
"He's pretty handy and I think there's a lot of improvement in him."
Exceed Express carried the new light blue-and-white and red V colours of Master Achiever Stable.
"These owners, they live in Hong Kong," said Laxon.
"This horse was actually destined for Hong Kong. But they didn't get a permit to go or they had too many horses for the permits they had, and so he finished up here instead."
Exceed Express won his Kranji trial on May 12. He signalled his chances with a swift gallop last Tuesday, when he finished better than stablemate DOUBLE STAR, who landed his fourth win from 15 starts in Race 5 with apprentice R Rueven astride.