Aug 17, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, August 17, 2017: HIGH-PROFILE stablemates Le Romain and Invincible Gem will trial at Royal Randwick on Monday before going in different directions for their next assignments.
Kris Lees confirmed this morning that both horses – who provided him with the Group 2 wfa Missile Stakes (1200m) quinella when resuming at the same track on August 5 – will contest 1050m trials.
Le Romain, runner-up to his year younger stablemate in the Missile, goes to Melbourne to attempt to increase his Group 1 tally to four in the $1m wfa Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
Invincible Gem also has her next start on the same day, but in Sydney in the $200,000 Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Under the set weights plus penalties conditions of the Tramway – which Lees won three years ago with Lucia Valentina – she will carry 55kg.
The Tramway winner automatically becomes exempt from ballot for the $1m Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 30.
At this stage, Lees is uncertain whether Sydney’s premier jockey Hugh Bowman, who has been aboard Le Romain in two of his three Group 1 victories to date, will be able to continue his association with the gelding in the Memsie.
“It will really depend on Winx’s program,” Lees said.
“If she doesn’t run that day (in the $250,000 Group 2 wfa Chelmsford Stakes, 1600m at Randwick), then hopefully Hugh can go to Melbourne for the Memsie.”
Lees’ Japanese import Hallelujah Boy also will represent the stable at the Memsie Stakes meeting.
He will make his Australian debut in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m).
The winner of two of his only 12 starts – both at 1600m - the five-year-old has trialled twice since joining Lees’ stable, the latest at Newcastle yesterday.
Ridden by Hugh Bowman, who stayed overnight after a treble on the Beaumont track on Tuesday, Hallelujah Boy won a 900m heat in 55.04secs (last 600m in 34.12s). The rail was 12m out on the course proper, which was rated a “Soft 7”.
“Hallelujah Boy is ready now to go the races,” Lees said. “I’m happy with the way he is progressing.”
Another recent acquisition, Whispered Secret, who also won a 900m trial yesterday with Bowman aboard, will trial again at Gosford on Friday week before her trainer confirms a return assignment.
Whispered Secret, one of a number of horses Lees now prepares for Gooree Stud, won the Listed Fernhill Handicap and was third to The Mission in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick in the autumn. Both races were run over 1600m.