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The $3000 Express wins again

A new wave of potential buyers have also missed the boat with three-year-old Condo's Express, who showed he was a horse of Group talent when he took the Listed McKenzie Stakes at The Valley on Saturday.

Initially ignored by buyers when offered and finally knocked down for just $3000 at the Scone Yearling Sales, new buyers made a move on the Rubick colt after his last-start win at The Valley, only for them all to drop off.

But the interest in the colt led him to be taken out of the paddock and being set for the Stakes race at The Valley, which has launched a number of successful spring campaigns.

"I said after last start that we were going to the paddock and he went to the paddock for four days and we brought him back in thinking he was going to get sold," trainer Richard Laming said.

"The horse didn't know if he was Arthur or Martha for a couple of days and I just watched him and I thought 'This horse is absolutely thriving and I am going to give him a piece of work' and his work on Tuesday here suggested he'd race like he did.

"There were a few interested after last win and I am sure they will ring again after this."

Not all went to plan for Condo's Express but he proved far too good at the odds of $3.60 to score by two-and-a-quarter lengths from the luckless Hightail ($2.70 fav), with two lengths further back to Hawker Hurricane ($13) in third place.

"He got his head up early and did a little bit wrong and I was a bit worried after the first furlong," Laming explained. "But he was too good for them."

The win was yet another success for jockey Linda Meech, who increased her lead in the Melbourne jockeys' title to three wins after the first 24 days of the new season.

Condo's Express now has a record of five starts for two wins and three seconds and has gone to another level with the addition of blinkers to his gear.

"He just keeps improving," Laming said. "To be honest, after his first couple of runs I was just happy enough for him to win another race or two but the blinkers have gone on and have certainly turned this horse around.

"He's gone to another level there today and he's gone better than I thought he would."

Laming is not getting carried away, however, as he knows the horse can only improve with time and experience.

"We'll just see how he pulls up," he said about a potential spring campaign.

"It's his first preparation, so we'll take one step at a time."
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