Jun 16, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Friday, June 16, 2017: KRIS Lees has given young Sydney jockey Koby Jennings his first Group 1 opportunity at Doomben next Saturday.
Lees this morning confirmed he has booked Jennings for Danish Twist in the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) – the final Group 1 event of the Australian racing season.
The fillies and mares’ feature will be run under weight-for-age conditions, and despite the transfer from Eagle Farm, appears certain to attract a capacity field.
“Koby is no stranger to Danish Twist, and deserves his chance on her in a Group 1,” Lees said.
Jennings won the Listed June Stakes (1100m) on the mare at Royal Randwick 12 months ago on the same day racing resumed at the now much maligned Eagle Farm track, which has been closed indefinitely.
He also rode her when she resumed from a short break at Rosehill Gardens on June 3 and finished seventh to Royal Tudor in a 1400m Handicap after not getting the clearest of runs in the straight.
Whilst Jennings has never previously ridden in a Group 1, it has been a stellar season for Lees, who for the first time has won four races at the elite level; Le Romain (Cantala Stakes and Canterbury Stakes), Sense Of Occasion (Doomben Cup) and Clearly Innocent (Kingsford-Smith Cup).
Lees also breaks new ground at Gosford today when he saddles his first runner for Gooree Stud (two-year-old Banner Season in the 1600m Maiden Handicap).
With Gooree’s previous trainer James Cummings taking over early next month as Australian head trainer for global giant Godolphin, Lees has received a number of young horses from that stable.
The new arrivals include three-year-old Launch Code, a first-up winner at Warwick Farm on May 31, and likely to make his debut for Lees next week.
With both Banner Season and Tawfiq Boy racing at Gosford today, they will be withdrawn from respective engagements at Newcastle tomorrow.
That leaves Lees with five local acceptors, but Time Out Of Mind (1200m Class 1 Handicap) is a doubtful starter.
These are his thoughts on his certain runners:
SEPTANGO (Jennings) and POWER COMMAND (Andrew Gibbons) in the 900m 2YO Maiden Handicap: “Both are nice horses, and have been placed in all their barrier trials prior to making their debuts. Septango is a Sepoy gelding who has trialled on four occasions, and Power Command is a Commands filly who has trialled three times. Their performances tomorrow will give us a better idea where we are heading with them.”
GUTHRUM (Luke Cumberland) in the 1400m CG&E Maiden Plate: “He is resuming and appears to be coming up allright this preparation, but will definitely take benefit from this run.”
LABROOKE (Gibbons) in the 1850m Benchmark 64 Handicap: “This looks a suitable race for him. Has been placed at his last two starts at Hawkesbury over 1600m and 1800m, and the winner (Wildflower) of the latter race on May 30 subsequently won over 2000m at Randwick last Saturday. Should run really well, especially from a favourable draw.”