Options aplenty for Zambezi River

Connections of Breeders’ Plate runner-up Zambezi River are monitoring weather and track conditions as they weigh up whether to launch the colt’s Golden Slipper campaign at Randwick or wait for another day.

The Chris Waller-trained two-year-old surged through a late split to finish second to Sejardan at his only appearance in October, prompting bookmakers to install him as favourite for Saturday’s Heineken 3 Handicap (1000m).

Managing owner James Harron said the youngster had returned to work in superb order but with several suitable races programmed over the coming weeks, they were happy to take a wait-and-see approach as to whether Zambezi River took his place this weekend.

“We have got a few other options, the Canonbury (Stakes) the following week being one, but there are options each week,” Harron said.

“He is a very promising horse and he seems to have come back bigger and better and a lot more polished than last preparation.”

One trainer hoping Zambezi River won’t be there is Peter Robl, who saddles up filly Deep Expectation.

Bred and raced by the Vieira family, who enjoyed great success with Trapeze Artist, Deep Expectation was well beaten at her only start in the Gimcrack Stakes when she was overenthusiastic outside the lead and compounded late.

However, she has won her only two trials in convincing fashion and Robl, who rides the filly in most of her work, said she was showing above average ability.

“The race went pear-shaped from the time she left the barriers. She was just running at her top the whole way,” Robl said of the Gimcrack Stakes performance.

“From (barrier) three, the plan is to box seat and take a sit and she will certainly give a good account of herself.

“She is first-up off one trial so she is going to improve out of the race, but we will go there hoping she can run top five.”

Deep Expectation is an $18 chance.

A number of youngsters have been specked in the race including Northumbria, one of two runners for James Cummings, who has firmed from $11 into $7.

The Annnabel Neasham-trained Wild Calm has also attracted early interest and is into third pick at $6.50 after opening $8.

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