Apr 10, 2015
NEWCASTLE: Friday, April 10, 2015: A butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker!
Perhaps that old English nursery rhyme maybe stretching the truth a little, but it’s no riddle to say Kris Lees will have a large group of owners from all walks of life cheering for him in tomorrow’s $300,000 The Championships Provincial Series Final at Randwick.
In a remarkable achievement, Lees has qualified six of the 15 runners – managing to do that in each of the five $100,000 provincial lead-ups.
His six runners in the 1400m contest are Selectify (Hugh Bowman), Powerline (Ryan Moore), Magic Of Dreams (Tommy Berry), Jimmy Says Yes (Brenton Avdulla), Parraay (Joao Moreira) and Electric Power (Damien Oliver).
“It will be interesting to say the least,” Lees said today of the unusual situation that so many of his owners are involved in the same race.
“We’ve got Selectify, raced by Bruce Neill, one of the richest men in Australia, who owns Cressfield Stud in the Hunter Valley.
“And the Irish brothers Rob and Walter Power (who also share in the Protectionist ownership) race Powerline and Electric Power.
“Then there’s Allen and Sue Hardes’ From The Track syndicate, which has a large group of owners racing Magic Of Dreams.
“And Lucas Miller, one of our employees, bred Parraay (her dam Hilldale won at Cessnock in July, 2008 at her only start) and races her with a group of mates.”
Last, but not least, is Jimmy Says Yes. Lees Racing shares in her ownership with former Australian Rugby Union star George Smith and chartered accountant Jonathan Karlovsky (they also raced 2005 Queensland Oaks winner Vitesse Dane).
Despite Lees’ sizeable representation, his runners are largely ignored in pre-post betting. He feels Magic Of Dreams is the pick of his six from Parraay and Selectify.
Lees also runs Hera ($1m Queen of the Turf Stakes, 1600m) and both Fine Bubbles and Onemorezeta in the $300,000 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).
He says Hera will need a “bog” track to figure, whilst his other pair face classy opposition in the Sapphire.
“Fine Bubbles is going well, but wants longer. Unfortunately, there wasn’t another suitable race for her,” he said.
“Onemorezeta ran well when third in the Gosford Guineas last week. That was her first run in nearly a month, and she is a quality filly.”
Whilst Lees, who came away from the Inglis Easter sale with six yearlings, naturally will be busy with his 12 Randwick runners, he will hopefully have time to also watch on television Go Arrivederci at Broadmeadow and Oriental Lady at Doomben.
Andrew Gibbons rides the Snitzel filly Go Arrivederci, who makes her debut in the 2YO Maiden Plate (900m), and Michael Cahill has the mount on Oriental Lady, currently favorite for the Benchmark 95 Handicap (2200m).
“The Newcastle race looks open, but Go Arrivederci is a nice filly,” Lees said. “I’m sure she will run well.”
“With Oriental Lady, hopefully it’s a good opportunity to win a race with her in Brisbane at this time of the year. They are a bit too strong for her in Sydney at present, and she should be hard to beat.”