Melbourne First Then Back To Randwick

Mar 06, 2015

FRIDAY: March 6, 2015: IT'S "girls' day out" for Kris Lees at Randwick tomorrow - but not before an important detour.

Lees flies to Melbourne later today to supervise Protectionist's Caulfield gallop in the morning before returning to Sydney to saddle his four runners - all females - at the Randwick Guineas meeting.

Stable foreman Mal Ollerton will ride the Melbourne Cup winner in a course proper hitout in his lead-up to next Saturday's $1m wfa Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington.

"He'll have a good sharp gallop," Lees said this morning.

Protectionist made his debut for his new trainer when sixth - making ground over the last 100m - to Australian Cup rival Mourinho in the wfa Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last Saturday. Craig Williams, who has ridden the former German stayer in two of his only three Australian runs, partners him again at Flemington.

Lees will start all three acceptors - Scorpio Queen (Christian Reith), Fine Bubbles (James McDonald) and Brook Road (Brenton Avdulla) - in the Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) at Randwick.

All three mares are resuming, and Lees feels the latter is the pick of his team.

"Their records would suggest that both Scorpio Queen and Fine Bubbles are better over a bit more ground," Lees said.

"But Brook Road is going well and has an excellent first-up record. She should run well."

Brook Road has won twice from three first-up starts and was an unlucky second on the other occasion.

She was rested after beating smart Queensland mare Tinto over 1200m at Doomben in late November - her fourth success from only nine starts, which have also produced four placings.

Brook Road was given a quiet barrier trial when third to pacy Emperor Of Rome over 800m at Wyong on February 16.

Scorpio Queen (fourth) and Fine Bubbles (third) also trialled at Wyong that day, in separate 1000m heats.

Lees' other Randwick runner is Flemington spring carnival winner Onemorezeta (Reith) in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) for three-year-olds.

The Onemorenomore filly resumed when fifth - beaten just over two lengths - to Adrift (star filly First Seal was second) in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 14.

"She has had three weeks between runs and coming back to 1100m will suit her," Lees said.

"But it won't be an easy task against the 'boys'; particularly Kuro.

"Still, I'm sure she will be competitive."

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