Danehill Express is doing an exceptional job chasing champion-elect Casino Prince for the Australia’s second-season title.
The Mungrup Stud stallion sired his 21st domestic winner this season when Bantry Belle scored a first-up victory in the Clark Rubber Hcp (1200m) at Pinjarra on Sunday.
Danehill Express is second in the second-season winners’ category (21 from 49 starters) and is keeping pace with Casino Prince (23 from 74 starters) with far fewer numbers. They share top spot on the wins table with 29 each.
Casino Prince is home and hosed with $2.64 million on the prizemoney premiership and All Too Hard will ensure he goes even further ahead during the remainder of the autumn carnivals in Melbourne and Sydney.
Danehill Express can keep his momentum going in Perth with emerging three year-old Express Service. He won the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy (1400m) on February 16 and backed-up in the LR Challenge Stakes (1500m) on Saturday.
The Darren McAuliffe trained gelding is the pre-post favourite for the $400,000 G2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot on April 20. “He handled the seven-day back-up and 58kg,” McAuliffe said on Saturday. “He did some work but was just too tough and fought them off.”
Express Service (3g Danehill Express – Lip Service by Marooned) was a $42,000 buy from the Geisel Park draft at the 2011 Perth Magic Millions. “He’s always shown ability,” McAuliffe declared. “I’ve had the Derby in mind since his first win at Belmont last July.”
Danehill Express was a Listed winner at Caulfield as well as being G1 runner-up to Al Maher in the 2005 Australian Guineas at Flemington. Breed-shaping sire Danehill got him from G1 AJC Oaks winner Savana City.
Four of his yearlings averaged $41,500 during Day 1 at the Perth Magic Millions last week. His colt from Due South was second on the Session 2 leader-board at $95,000.
Mungrup Stud stood Danehill Express for a $8,800 (inc gst) service fee last year.
– Karl Patterson