Aug 21, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Monday, August 21, 2017: KRIS Lees has moved swiftly to secure a new jockey for Le Romain when the triple Group 1 winner returns to Melbourne racing on Saturday week.
With Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman naturally staying in Sydney to ride the mighty mare in the $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick the same day, Golden Slipper winning rider Ben Melham has secured the mount in the $1m Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Bowman was aboard the now five-year-old when he won the $1m Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last spring.
Le Romain and stablemate Invincible Gem trialled at Randwick this morning en route to their next assignments; the Memsie for the former and the $200,000 Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick the same day for the latter.
Le Romain (Andrew Gibbons) and Invincible Gem (Corey Brown) finished fifth and seventh respectively behind Doomben Ten Thousand winner Redzel in the 1045m trial, run in 61.5secs (last 600m in 33.8s).
“It was a trial full of quality horses, and both did all I wanted them to,” Lees said this afternoon.
“I just wanted to keep them up to the mark; they weren’t out to have hard trials.”
Bowman was on the suspended list when Le Romain (Glyn Schofield) and Invincible Gem (Brown) both resumed in the Group 2 wfa Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 5, and ran the quinella with the latter beating home her stablemate.
Le Romain will be floated to Melbourne at the weekend for the Memsie, which will carry a $1m purse for the first time.
Lees’ Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion is scheduled to begin his spring campaign in the Chelmsford.
Before his Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) victory on May 20, he ran third to Winx in the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8 during The Championships.
Another of Lees’ Group 1 performers, Brisbane winter carnival Kingsford-Smith Cup winner Clearly Innocent, is also warming up for a spring campaign.
He will trial at Gosford on Friday, and may trial for a second time before resuming.
Beaten Taree Cup favorite Admiral Jello won’t contest Friday week’s $160,000 Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m).
Instead, he will run in a Benchmark80 Handicap (2000m) at Randwick the following day as a trial for the $175,000 Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 15.
Admiral Jello, with 60kg, ran third to Pirate Ben in yesterday’s $80,000 Cup (2000m).
“I thought he had his chance, but he still ran alright with the big weight,” Lees said.