Jun 22, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, June 22, 2017: KRIS Lees has played a “waiting game” with Danish Twist in a bid to secure her Group 1 glory at Doomben on Saturday.
Whereas stablemate and second emergency Savoureux has been in Queensland for virtually the winter carnival, Danish Twist will be a late arrival for Saturday’s $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) – the final Group 1 race of the season.
She will be floated north overnight – and that is by design.
“Danish Twist can be a difficult mare at trackwork, and I wanted to keep her at home as late as possible so that her regular riders could gallop her,” Lees explained this afternoon.
“I’m very happy with her leading into the Tiara.”
Young Sydney jockey Koby Jennings will have his first Group 1 ride on Danish Twist on Saturday, whilst Larry Cassidy will partner Savoureux if she makes the final field.
Jennings rode Danish Twist in her Listed June Stakes (1100m) victory at Royal Randwick 12 months ago.
She hasn’t been successful in 10 subsequent starts, but they include a Group 2 placing (Premiere Stakes), luckless ninth after getting no room at all in the straight in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington last spring, and a terrific third (beaten only narrowly) in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in March.
“The Coolmore run was a career-best performance,” Lees said. “If she can reproduce that, she is definitely going to be hard to beat.
“I was a bit critical of her recent run (seventh to Royal Tudor in a 1400m Handicap at Rosehill on June 3), but in hindsight it was better than I first thought.
“It was her first run in eight weeks, she had 59kg against the males and finished only two and a half lengths from the winner (Royal Tudor), who carried 7kg less.”
Lees feels Danish Twist’s Tiara barrier is ideal. “She will start from seven if the emergencies don’t start and that will enable Koby to give her a nice run with cover, which she needs to show her best.”
Danish Twist, last year’s Provincial Championships winner, has been a wonderful performer for Lees and her connections.
She has won eight races and notched as many placings from 27 starts for earnings of $840,510. Victory on Saturday (first prize is $320,000) will lift her into the “millionaire’s club”.
.Lees may have only one representative at Saturday’s corresponding Royal Randwick meeting.
Dual acceptor Wahng Wah (1400m Benchmark 81 Handicap and 1400m Benchmark 78 Handicap) won’t start in either race, and recent acquisition Launch Code isn’t certain to contest the Benchmark 77 Handicap (1200m) for three-year-olds.
“I’ll talk with his owners (Gooree Stud), but because of his wide barrier (the rail is 7m out), I’m inclined to keep him for another race at Wyong next Thursday,” Lees said.
Another recent acquisition, New Zealander Sound Proposition, will debut for the stable in the 1600m Handicap.
Form apprentice Rachel King’s 2kg claim will lessen his impost to 56.5kg.
Sound Proposition, a five-year-old by Savabeel, joined Lees’ team after finishing 10th to his now stablemate Sense Of Occasion in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 20 on heavy ground.
“He is a Group 1 winner (last year’s 1600m Easter Stakes at Ellerslie) in New Zealand, and is a nice horse,” Lees said.
“I would have preferred to have started him on better ground (Randwick this afternoon was rated a Heavy 9) as his best form has been on good tracks.
“Whilst I still feel he will run a respectable race, Saturday’s run will give me a better idea of how to assess him.”
Lees has opted not to use a barrier blanket on Sound Proposition.
“He was fine when he trialled at Gosford (he ran second to Kanguru over 1000m) on June 6, and I don’t think he needs it,” he said.