Buenos Noches to kick off campaign in the Expressway Stakes

Matt Smith will target feature sprints in two states with Buenos Noches as he sets his sights on an elusive Group 1 win.

The four-year-old will kick off his campaign in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday as a pipe-opener to a southern state raid on the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.

The entire finished runner-up to benchmark sprinter Imperatriz in the Champions Sprint over the Newmarket course and distance in November, his second Group 1 placing after his third to In Secret over the straight course in the 2022 Coolmore Stud Stakes.

“We are looking at the Expressway and then the Newmarket. He’s very effective down the straight,” Smith said.

“We will see what happens after that.

“I do think he might be better over further than 1200 metres and we are looking at the All Aged Stakes later in the autumn, but that’s a long way away.”

Smith confirmed Nash Rawiller would ride Buenos Noches in the Expressway after partnering the horse in his two recent barrier trials.

The latest of those was on Thursday where he finished third behind stakes winners Palmetto and Perfect Thought in an effort Smith felt would top him off for his return.

“They went very slowly in his trial, but he had a good enough hitout, he’s ready to go,” Smith said.

“I can’t fault him, he is flying.”

Buenos Noches has won two of his three first-up runs, including the Show County Quality (1200m) in the spring, and Smith believes he has not only returned in better shape this time around, but is further along in his fitness levels.

“I think he’s more forward,” Smith said.

“We didn’t let him get heavy. He got a bit heavy last prep, this time in he’s super.”

Saturday’s Randwick program will feature four black-type races, highlighted by the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) for the three-year-old fillies.

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