Expressive Halo won the Argentine Derby back in 2010PICTURE: marcelo sarachi
Halo lands Palermo's Campeonato de Oro
Report: Argentina, Tuesday
Palermo (Buenos Aires): Gran Premio Republica Argentina (Group 1) 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+
REIGNING Horse of the Year Expressive Halo (Carlos Meza/Gustavo Calvente) scored a decisive victory in Palermo's top dirt race for stayers to clinch the track's three-race Campeonato de Oro championship.
Winner of the 2010 Argentine Derby and last year's Group 1 Carlos Pellegrini (South America's Arc), the top-class four-year-old Halo Sunshine colt had to call on all his class to narrowly prevail by a head over three-year-old Manuscrito, with Peruvian invader Al Qasr finishing another nose back in third.
Little more than a length separated the top seven finishers in a blanket finish, which included pacesetter Ibeman finishing fourth, followed by Group 1 winner Rabid In The Rye, favourite Galan de Cine and third choice and 2,000 Guineas winner Chuck Berry.
"He gives his all and has a heart bigger than his body," said Calvente. "I took him out wide in the stretch to be in the clear and I am glad all worked out well."
Expressive Halo is expected to start next in the Group 1 Gran Premio 25 de Mayo at San Isidro, in an attempt to earn a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Third-placed finisher Al Qasr will remain at Palermo to await the Group 1 Clasico Belgrano, which offers the winner a direct invitation to the Breeders' Cup Marathon at Santa Anita on November 3.