Apr 08, 2016
NEWCASTLE: Friday, April 8, 2016: NEVER leave until tomorrow what you can do today!
Faced with a formidable task of speaking with all eight jockeys for his record number of representatives prior to the running of tomorrow’s $400,000 Provincial Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick, Kris Lees is on the front foot today.
“Obviously, it would be difficult to discuss the race with all my jockeys in the saddling enclosure,” Lees said this morning.
“So I’ll contact a number of them today and make things a bit easier by the time we get into the enclosure tomorrow.
“It’s going to be pretty hectic there with all our owners.”
Not that Lees would have it any other way. He has done a remarkable job to qualify more than 50 per cent of the 15-horse field and also has first emergency Magic Of Dreams should anything untoward happen prior to tomorrow’s 7.30am scratching deadline.
Always seeking an edge, Lees has made an important gear change on one of his runners, Powerline, with Hong Kong-based Brett Prebble aboard.
He has decided to remove winkers from the consistent four-year-old, who qualified with a placing behind stablemate Zestful at Gosford on March 24.
“Powerline is a question mark at the 1400m, and needed some sort of change,” Lees explained.
“He has had a tendency to be a little tardy at the start. Hopefully, taking off the winkers will help him get away smartly and be able to take up a nice position.”
Magic Of Dreams will race in blinkers if she secures a berth.
Lees feels Marple Miss (Christian Reith) and Danish Twist (Damien Oliver) are his best chances, with any further rain boosting the prospects of wet tracker Electric Power (Hugh Bowman), who was runner-up at big odds to Sure And Fast in last year’s inaugural Provincial Final on heavy ground.
“Marple Miss is our best horse and nicely drawn, and so too is Danish Twist,” he said.
Lees, with good reason, won’t be disappointed either if first-up Hawkesbury winner Rustic Melody (Tim Clark) leads home her rivals. He races the mare with a group of mates.
Lees has also changed gear on Brook Road (Chad Schofield) in the $300,000 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m), putting both a tongue tie and winkers on her.
“She has been playing around with her tongue a bit, hence the tongue tie,” he said.
“And hopefully the winkers will make her a bit sharper.
“Brook Road is probably better at 1100m than the 1200m, but she should get every chance from a soft draw.
“And the rain-affected ground won’t worry her.”
Brook Road finished strongly from well back when placed in the Group 3 Mumm Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on Oaks day (November 5) last year on a heavy track.