Kris Keeping His Everest Powder Dry

Sep 05, 2017

KRIS KEEPING HIS EVEREST POWDER DRY

NEWCASTLE: Tuesday, September 5, 2017: KRIS Lees is keeping his The Everest powder dry with talented sprinter Clearly Innocent.

Clearly Innocent and stablemate Le Romain – who between them have won four Group 1s - this morning were named two of the five “short list” contenders for the Australian Turf Club’s slot in the inaugural $10m The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 14.

But the announcement hasn’t forced Lees’ hand, though naturally he is hoping to get one or both of his horses in the world’s richest turf race.

“I’m planning not to resume Clearly Innocent until the Premiere Stakes at Randwick on September 30,” Lees said this afternoon.

The $500,000 Group 2 wfa Premiere will be run over the same course as The Everest, scheduled for a fortnight later.

“Clearly Innocent worked on the course proper here this morning, and I may not even trial him at Wyong next Monday as I had been contemplating,” Lees said.

“Some more course proper gallops might be enough to have him ready first-up for the Premiere.

“If he’s good enough to win that, then obviously it will be hard to deny him a slot in The Everest.”

Le Romain will stay in Melbourne, and runs next in the $750,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday week.

Lees was certainly not disappointed with the triple Group 1 winner’s fifth to another The Everest candidate Vega Magic in last Saturday’s $1m Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

“Le Romain has come though the Memsie really well, and we know he likes the 1600m at Flemington,” Lees said.

“If he gets a start in The Everest, we’ve then got a month to freshen him for that.”

Le Romain won the Group 1 Cantala Stakes over the Makybe Diva course at last year’s Melbouurne Cup carnival.

Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion will continue his spring preparation in Sydney for the time being, but Lees hasn’t yet confirmed his next start.

It will be in either the $1m Group 1 Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on September 30, or $500,000 Group 2 wfa Hill Stakes (1800m) on the same program.

Sense Of Occasion ($31) resumed when eighth to mighty mare Winx in last Saturday’s Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. “He found himself in the wrong spot in the race, and has pulled up well,” Lees said.