Mar 20, 2015
NEWCASTLE: Friday, March 20, 2015: WITH three qualifiers already in his pocket, trainer Kris Lees has turned his The Championships Provincial Series attention to Hawkesbury on Thursday.
He has nominated three horses - Pinball Lass, Powerline and Electric Power - for the fourth $100,000 heat, to be run over 1400m.
"My Hawkesbury entries are probably not as strong as the runners I've had in the first three heats," Lees said this morning.
"But it's a great concept and too good an opportunity to pass up for our owners."
The first three placegetters in each heat qualify for the inaugural $300,000 final - also over 1400m - at Randwick on April 11. Gosford will host the fifth and last $100,000 heat over 1200m on Thursday week.
Lees has so far qualified Selectify, Parraay and Magic Of Dreams for the final, ensuring he will have at least 20 per cent of the line-up. Selectify was runner-up in the opening heat at Wyong on March 5, Parraay finished third in the second heat at Kembla Grange last Friday and Magic Of Dreams took the third heat on home turf at Wednesday's Newmarket meeting at Broadmeadow.
Whereas Selectify almost certainly will start again prior to the April 11 final, Parraay and Magic Of Dreams won't. Lees said he was likely to start Selectify in the $150,000 Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill next Saturday.
"I will trial Parraay at Wyong on Wednesday to keep her up to the mark.
"Magic Of Dreams will go straight into the final. This is her first preparation and she has done a terrific job to get as far as she has."
Whilst Lees' immediate focus is on tomorrow's Rosehill meeting, he has sent two mares north to race at separate south-east Queensland venues tomorrow.
Valid Contract (Damian Browne) runs in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (1050m) at Doomben, where she has to cope with the outside barrier in a field of 11, with the rail 3.5 metres out.
My Last Fling (Scott Galloway) lines up at the Gold Coast in the Class 3 Handicap (1800m).