Clearly Still Big Hope Despite Draw

Jun 07, 2017

NEWCASTLE: Wednesday, June 7, 2017: BOOKMAKERS were quick to lengthen his odds, but Stradbroke favourite Clearly Innocent’s wide draw hasn’t greatly bothered trainer Kris Lees.

Clearly Innocent drew barrier 20- he will come into 15 if the emergencies do not secure starts – in Saturday’s $1.5m Group 1 sprint to be run at Doomben over 1350m.

Twenty-one horses accepted for Brisbane’s signature race this morning, with a field of 16 declared along with five emergencies.

“Obviously it’s not ideal, but it’s better than drawing the inside alley around a tight track such as Doomben,” Lees said from the Gold Coast after the public barrier draw was conducted in Brisbane.

“He’ll get back anyway and at least he won’t be cluttered up between other horses.

“Around barrier 8 would have been ideal, but we can’t do anything about it.

“It’s up to Hugh (Bowman) now.”

Lees flew to the Gold Coast to watch Clearly Innocent have his final gallop this morning on the course proper.

With stable foreman Cameren Swan aboard, he worked solo over 1000m and came home his last 600m in 40 seconds.

“The intention wasn’t to send him against the clock,” Lees said.

“It was a nice piece of work, and he’s fit. He is definitely ready to go on Saturday.”

Clearly Innocent had been a firming $3.40 favourite for the Stradbroke until the barrier draw was conducted.

TAB.com.au afterwards lengthened his quote to $4.60 but at that price he still retains favouritism ahead of Sydney sprinter Counterattack ($7), who finished a distant third to him in the $700,000 Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 27.

Clearly Innocent, who has won nine of his 15 starts to date, will conclude his first preparation for Lees on Saturday.