May 29, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Monday, May 29, 2017: KRIS Lees this afternoon was philosophical about Stradbroke favourite Clearly Innocent’s weight.
Handicapper Nathan Bourke gave last Saturday’s impressive Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup winner 55.5kg for Brisbane’s richest race to be run on Saturday week.
But under the conditions of the $1.5mStradbroke, he will carry 57kg topweight as current topweight Black Heart Bart (58.5kg) has been announced a non-runner.
“It’s probably a bit more than I expected,” Lees said.
“We’ve gone from not being sure last week about even getting a run to now being the topweight.
“He’s got 1kg more than Rebel Dane, who has won more than double Clearly Innocent’s prizemoney.
“But what will be will be. At least all the weights have to go up 1.5kg at acceptance time next week, and we’re in the race, and Hugh (Bowman) will be able to ride him comfortably at the 57kg.”
Interestingly, the release of weights on Racing Queensland’s website did not mention the race being run at its traditional Eagle Farm home.
With Saturday’s Queensland Oaks meeting already transferred to nearby Doomben following a torrent of criticism last Saturday about Eagle Farm’s surface, the odds are shortening about the Stradbroke program also being run there.
If that occurs, the Stradbroke then would have to be shortened from 1400m to 1350m on the tighter circuit.
Lees has nominated Danish Twist for both Doomben and Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, and will study the weights to determine where she races.
She has 59kg in the 1400m Handicap at Rosehill, and is also an entry for both the $175,000 Group 2 Moreton Cup (now 1200m) and Listed Helen Coughlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.
The latter is a set weights plus penalties event for fillies and mares.
Danish Twist’s Brisbane target is the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersalls Tiara (1400m) – also against her own sex – scheduled for Eagle Farm on June 24.