Bad Barriers Ruin Rosehill Hopes

Jul 13, 2017

NEWCASTLE: Thursday, July 13, 2017: ONE hundred and fifty winners in a season doesn’t earn you good barriers – as Kris Lees can readily testify.

At least that’s the case with his three acceptors at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Remarkably, each of the trio drew the outside alley in their respective races – barriers nine, 12 and 18.

As a result, Rustic Melody – who fared the worst – is almost certain to miss the Benchmark 78 Handicap (2000m).

“Apart from the poor alley, it’s not a bad field either,” Lees said this afternoon.

“I think we might wait a couple of weeks with her for another race and hopefully get a better draw.”

Lees nominated last-start Rosehill winner Rustic Melody for today’s Grafton Cup (2350m), but didn’t accept with the mare.

Lees, enjoying easily the best season of his career, reached the 150 mark with a Tamworth double (Let’s Get Nauti Gal and Isthmian) on Monday.

Whilst he tagged Rustic Melody an “unlikely runner” on Saturday, he is resigned to starting both Wahng Wah (1350m Benchmark 84 Handicap) and Savoureux (1200m Benchmark 93 Handicap).

Corey Brown rides the former, and apprentice Rachel King partners Savoureux, lessening her weight to 56kg.

“Both will run; there’s nothing else for them at present,” Lees said.

“But they are going to need luck.”

“Wahng Way won her first two races this campaign, and was given a freshen up after finishing fifth at Rosehill on June 3.

“She made good ground from last when resuming over 1250m at Canterbury yesterday week.

“The extra 100m suits her better, but she will get back from the outside barrier.

“The same applies with Savoureux. But we know she has the ability if she gets the race run to suit.”

Lees also has a runner at Saturday’s feature Queensland meeting at the Sunshine Coast.

Gingersnap (Paul Hammersley) runs in the QTIS 3YO Handicap (1000m), and at least she has fared better, drawing barrier eight in a field of 16.

“Being a Queensland purchase as a yearling, she is eligible for QTIS bonuses,” Lees said.

“We will leave her up there until the end of the month (when the current season ends) and try to pick up one of them.”

Gingersnap, a Cessnock 1150m winner on June 5, ran third to Powerful Flash in a 900m 3YO Handicap at the Gold Coast last Saturday on a “Heavy 9” surface.

The Snippetson filly, raced by a ladies’ syndicate, has won three of her 10 starts. Two of those wins were on good tracks.