Feb 06, 2015
NEWCASTLE: Friday, February 6, 2015: TRAINER Kris Lees has cast his racing net far and wide this weekend. Apart from usual representatives at Rosehill and his home meeting at Broadmeadow, he will also have runners in both Victoria and Queensland.
Lees has sent Sommernachtstraum and Moment Of Music south for Melbourne engagements, whilst Artibai has gone north to run at Doomben
Craig Williams rides Sommernachstraum at Moonee Valley tonight in the Benchmark 84 Handicap (3000m), and Lees feels it's make or break time
for the import.
"This is a race we picked out for him a while ago, and he has to step up," he said last night.
Lees trialled the seven-year-old at Broadmeadow on Monday when he finished just behind stablemate and Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist
in a 1200m hitout on the course proper.
"He needed the trial to keep him up to the mark," he said. "He hasn't raced for a month."
Sommernachstraum's only Australian win to date was over 2500m at Randwick 12 months ago. But he did score over 3000m at Chantilly in
June, 2013 before leaving France to race here.
In an important gear change, Moment Of Music will race in blinkers in tomorrow's Inglis Premier 2YO (1000m) at Sandown - a race worth
Chad Schofield has the mount on the Hinchinbrook filly, who has won two of her three starts (all at Scone).
Her latest success was over 1100m on January 23.
"I'm hoping the blinkers will help keep her in touch over the 1000m," he explained. "It's worth a gamble for such good prizemoney."
Lees won an Inglis bonus race in Melbourne with Soapy Star at Moonee Valley in December, 2012 when, coincidentally, Schofield was also the
Damian Browne has gained the mount on Artibai in tomorrow's Benchmark 75 Handicap (2200m) at Doomben.
"I feel he is our best hope over the weekend," Lees said. "This certainly shapes as a race he can win."
Artibai scored over 1850m at Broadmeadow on Boxing Day, then was a certainty beaten when he just failed to overhaul All My Loving in a
Benchmark 70 Handicap (2400m) after initially making the running.
For good measure, Lees also runs Long Lasting (Luke Rolls) at the Gold Coast tomorrow.