Private Express to pack a punch

LOCAL Tom Pratt heads into today's $25,000 Casino RSM Beef Week Cup (1400m) hoping he can win with a horse he describes as like world champion boxers Jeff Fenech and Danny Green.

Private Express, a Matthew Bennett mount, may be a difficult horse to handle but when it comes to race day, the five-year-old gelding has a lethal knockout blow.

"He's a strong-willed animal and takes a fair bit of handling," Pratt said. "He's got the same attitude as Jeff Fenech and Danny Green.

"He loves beating other horses. He wants to get out there and get at 'em. He's very head strong.

"He's got a terrific competitive attitude."

Private Express's job has been made easier with Jim Delaney scratching topweight and favourite Uni- versal Belief.

Universal Belief won last year's Beef Week and Casino cups.

Private Express was runner-up to Universal Belief in the Casino Cup (1400m).

"It's bad luck for Jim (Delaney) but hopefully Private Express can go one better," Pratt added.

Private Express, by Private Agenda out of Tolinta, was bred by veteran Coraki local, Keith Whitehead, who races the gelding with friends, John and Irene Clarke.

"I've had him since he was broken in," Pratt recalled. "It's been a real journey.

"Not many horses win seven from 20 starts.

"Keith has a passion for racehorses."

Private Express has been in fine form recently.

Last start Private Express scored a dominant 1.5-length win over 1206m at Grafton on May 14.

"His recent form has been first class," Pratt said.

"It's a strong field today. If he can win it he'll earn it."



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