Aug 29, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Tuesday, August 29, 2017: KRIS Lees will rely on another “veteran” to chase back-to-back Wyong Gold Cup victories on Friday – provided the track isn’t too firm.
Lees, successful last year with Slow Pace (Robert Thompson), has decided to run eight-year-old French import Singing, who will tackle the $160,000 Listed feature first-up, with Andrew Gibbons aboard.
Gibbons was booked for Singing, who was to have resumed last Saturday at Rosehill Gardens in another Listed event, the $125,000 Premier’s Cup (1900m).
However, as injuries have plagued Singing’s career, Lees pulled the pin and withdrew him on race morning, rather than risk him on a firm (Good 3) surface.
“He’ll definitely run on Friday provided Wyong is no firmer than a Good 4,” Lees said this afternoon.“With showers forecast in the next couple of days, that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Lees also nominated Taree Cup placegetter Admiral Jello for Wyong, but is keeping him for a Benchmark 85 Handicap (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Only 13 horses were entered for the Wyong Cup, and Singing has 55kg – 1kg above the limit. Both Slow Pace and Singing race in the Australian Bloodstock colours.
Corey Brown will ride Lees’ pair Sense Of Occasion and Invincible Gem at Saturday’s Randwick meeting.
Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion was nominated for both the Group 2 wfa Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m), and will line up against Winx in the former.
Invincible Gem, a brilliant first-up winner over stablemate Le Romain in the Group 2 wfa Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 5, runs in the Tramway.
Lees will decide after gallops in the morning whether Whispered Secret (Group 2 Furious Stakes, 1200m) and Felines (Group 3 Concorde Stakes, 1000m) also start at Randwick.
Lees made an overnight trip to Melbourne to gallop triple Group 1 winner Le Romain on the Caulfield course proper this morning leading up to Saturday’s Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at that track.
Le Romain’snew Memsie rider Ben Melham had his first “feel” of the gelding in the hitout, and both he and Lees were pleased. .
“Le Romain went 1000m with one of Clinton McDonald’s horses, and is ready to go on Saturday,” Lees said.
“Whilst he has never started at Caulfield, he was stabled there last spring when he won the Cantala Stakes at Flemington.”
Lees will return south at the weekend to saddle both Le Romain and Japanese import Hallelujah Boy, who makes his Australian debut in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m).
Brisbane winter carnival Group 1 winner Clearly Innocent will resume in either the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16 or Group 2 wfa Premiere Stakes (1200m) at the same track a fortnight later.
Lees was not concerned by the lanky gelding’sseventh in an 800m trial at Gosford last Friday, and may trial him again at Wyong on Monday week.
Danish Twist, an excellent third in that Gosford trial, might resume in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) against her own sex at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday week.
Danish Twist won the 2016 Provincial Championships Final (1400m) at Randwick, and was a close third in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in March.
Lees has nominated Admiral Jello, Sense Of Occasion, Singing and New Zealander Sound Proposition for the $3.15m Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21, and Admiral Jello, Sense Of Occasion and Singing for the $6.2m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.