The Golden Mile is an even-money favorite for the Expressway. Forbidden Love, which is the $2.70 second pick, has trainer Michael Freedman hoping she can find the form of last autumn.
A winner of eight races, Forbidden Love has won six of 14 in the autumn, including her three group 1 races, and was a luckless runner-up to Overpass in this race last year before winning the Canterbury Stakes and George Ryder Stakes.
“She was coming off an indifferent spring last year and came out and was a different horse in the autumn, and we are hoping she can do that again,” Freedman said. “I’d be guessing if I was to find a reason for it, but she seems to like autumn better than spring for some reason.
“You are always concerned when they don’t come back like her last spring, so it was good to see her trial so well, and she should have won this race off a similar trial last year.”
With Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, Forbidden Love cleared out by 6¾ lengths from Andermatt in a group barrier trial a couple of weeks, but it was the feedback that pleased Freedman more.
“Kerrin got off her and said she wanted to be there and felt really good,” Freedman said. “You’re always a bit worried going into a race off one trial, but she is so good fresh, it feels right for her.
“She is naturally a go-forward mare, so we will be using barrier one and not giving away an advantage she has over her main rival. [Golden Mile],
Freedman has had four winners from limited runners this year and sees Daytona as a horse with his hoof on the till despite failing on the Gold Coast last time, where he had excuses.
“It was a bit of leaders track up there and he didn’t help himself by getting his tongue over the bit,” Freedman said, “We have put a tongue tie on him and, if he runs up to run before he went up there at Randwick, where he should have won, he will be right in it.”