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Happy Galaxy wins the Expressway
Caryl Williamson
17:20 AEST Sat Feb 9 2013

His win may have been overshadowed by that of his stablemate All Too Hard at Caulfield but Happy Galaxy showed he was a horse of great promise with his victory in the Expressway Stakes at Warwick Farm.

The two colts are trained by the Hawkes family partnership with senior member John Hawkes a master at pitting three-year-olds against older horses at weight-for-age.

Shortly after Happy Galaxy stamped his authority on the Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m), Black Caviar's half brother All Too Hard took out the Group One C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield.

Michael Hawkes was in Sydney with Happy Galaxy who was only declared a runner on race morning after an overnight float trip from Melbourne on Thursday.

"It was only decided this morning he would run," Hawkes said.

"We wanted to see how he travelled. He was nice and bright.

"He has come a long way in a short time and no-one has a better record with three-year-olds at weight-for-age than John Hawkes."

It was the fourth consecutive win this preparation for Happy Galaxy who began his run on New Year's day in a Benchmark 70.

Jay Ford tracked predicted leader Hurrara from the outset and let Happy Galaxy find his feet before asking him to sprint home.

The $4.20 favourite held off Skytrain ($7.50) by half a length with three-quarters of a length to Centennial Park ($7.50).

"Jay rode him perfectly," Hawkes said.

"I'm not sure what the plans are now. We'll have to work out whether he has had enough for the time being."

Ford gave the colt high praise when he said his racing pattern reminded him of retired champion sprinter Takeover Target who he partnered to many Group One wins.

"He has a similar style to Takeover Target," Ford said.

"He runs a good first 600 metres then a great last 600.

"He is a class animal and very much under-rated."

New Zealand Group One winner Tougher Than Ever, formerly known as Warhorse, finished best of the Chris Waller-trained trio in fourth with his veteran stablemate Danleigh fifth and Albert The Fat seventh of the 10 runners.