by Duane Ranger
When NSW trainer, David Thorn, tells you Expensive Ego is the best horse he has conditioned in a lifetime of training, then it’s no wonder the Tab opened him up a hot $1.30 favourite for Saturday’s Group One feature at Albion Park.
The super talented 2-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven hasn’t been beaten in four starts since his 18.3 metre debut win at Tabcorp Park Menangle on July 2.
His best performance came two starts back at Albion Park (July 20) when he nailed the Group One $100,000 Egmont Park Stud QBRED Triad for the 2yo pacing colts and geldings.
On Saturday night the gifted brown colt will start from three on the second row (11) in the $100,000 Albion Park 2yo Gold Final. The 1,660m mobile starts at 8.43pm.
With the likely scratching of ballot, Guy Looks Good (9), Expensive Ego, will still follow out a Grant Dixon trained pacer.
Dixon has five of the 11 runners in the field. but there’s no Governor Jujon (Redcliffe Yearling Sale) in Saturday’s 1,660m mobile. Expensive Ego (11) and the KerryAnn Morris (NSW) trained Toanui Spirit (2) are the only out-of-state, locally-bred pacers in the field.
“I’m happy with the draw. Jimmy (Douglass) will be able to poke through at the start and play it from there. Jimmy knows the horse well, and will do what’s best.
“If they go hard that will suit him. If they go slow he can go around them. He’s such a versatile horse. I think the best horse I trained with Dad (Ian) was Stroma (21 wins from 32 starts & $132,244).
“He won 10 of 11 as a 2-year-old, but potentially this one could be just as good if not better. It’s just way too early to say, but he’s done everything right so far,” Thorn said.
“He’s certainly the best horse I have trained solo and the best of the 12 or so I’ve got in work. He’s one of three I’ve got up here,” the 42-year-old added.
Expensive Ego recorded a personal best 1:52.9 mile rate the night he beat the highly regarded Queensland 2-year-old, Governor Jujon by 3.8 metres in the Triad.
“Governor Jujon is a very nice horse and we had to be good to win that night. My fella can both stay and sprint, and has all the makings of developing into a very nice pacer one day. From now on though, it’s just about nursing him and educating him,” Thorn said.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Expensive Ego. He’s already undergone two operations in his brief life.
“That’s why he has been a late bloomer. We weren’t able to get the work into him soon enough. I think he suffered a knock on his front leg just before the Yearling Sales and it flared up a bit, and we later found out he had damaged a bone.
“Then about six or seven months ago he chipped a bone in his hock this time - just as he was coming back into work. I actually got him by default because the previous trainer had allegedly returned a positive swab.
“This horse certainly makes my job worth getting up for every day,” said Thorn, who is also a professional farrier.
Expensive Ego was bred by Doug Lyon in Queensland. He sold him for $27,000 to Rodney Dale at last year's APG Yearling Sale in Brisbane. He is currently owned by Jason Grice.
After almost a month in Queensland Thorn will return home with his three horses next week and prepare Expensive Ego for the Group Two $50,000 APG Gold 2yo Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle, on August 31.
The only other runner that opened up in single figure-odds for Saturday nights Group One feature was the Dixon trained and driven, Our Balou (6). He's at $8, followed by Mummy's Boy (8) at $11, and Toanui Spirit (2) at $12.
Racing Queensland webnews August 9