Happy Galaxy faces Expressway test
Mandy Cottell
19:05 AEST Wed Feb 6 2013

Happy Galaxy might not be in the same class as All Too Hard but he will face a similar challenge to his star stablemate on Saturday.

Both three-year-olds will take on older horses at weight-for-age but they will do so in different states.

All Too Hard kicks off his campaign in the Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield while Happy Galaxy steps out in the Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm.

Happy Galaxy has won three of his four starts this campaign, including his first black-type test in the Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield last month.

He is due to return from Melbourne to Team Hawkes' Sydney base on Friday morning, ahead of his toughest test to date.

"Obviously he's taking on Group Two, weight-for-age level but in saying that he's only a three-year-old and he gets in well at the weights," co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.

"And he's the fittest horse in the race.

"It's a class field, obviously. These fields, you can't take them too lightly.

"But he's drawn a good gate, barrier two, he's an on-speed runner and he'll put himself right there.

"It's just a matter of whether he's good enough on the day."

The Expressway has attracted several big names including perennial runners Danleigh and Centennial Park who will both line up in the race for the fourth consecutive year.

Centennial Park will be trying to win it for the second time after scoring in 2011, the same year Danleigh landed his best Expressway result finishing fourth.

His trainer Chris Waller has also paid up for Albert The Fat and former New Zealander Tougher Than Ever.

The latter is a Group One winner in his homeland and will be making his debut for Waller after impressing in a recent barrier trial.

Tougher Than Ever and Happy Galaxy will be striving to become the first three-year-old to win the Expressway since the John Hawkes-trained Mentality in 2007.

Now training in partnership with his sons Michael and Wayne, John Hawkes is also responsible for the last three-year-old winner of the Orr in Yell, who took out the feature ten years ago.

Michael Hawkes is hoping All Too Hard can add his name to the Orr honour roll.

"He's had the jump outs now and he looks well placed," he said.

"Same thing again (as Happy Galaxy), it's weight-for-age and he's up against the older horses but he's a super star in himself and he's going well."

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