Sep 28, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, September 28, 2017: IMPORTANT gear changes have been made on Monday’s Warwick Farm fancies Skylight Glow and Hallelujah Boy.
Winkers will be applied to Skylight Glow in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (1400m) against her own sex, and similarly, Hallelujah Boy will race in blinkers against his own sex in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (1400m).
Kris Lees has made the changes in the hope they will spark the pair into reproducing their best form.
Apprentice Rachel King rides Skylight Glow, who has been unplaced twice since joining Lees’ team.
“She wore blinkers 12 months ago when placed in both the Tea Rose (to Foxplay) and Flight Stakes (Global Glamour),” Lees said this afternoon.
Skylight Glow at her latest outing ran 11th (beaten four lengths) to Zanbagh in the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle on September 15.
Lees also runs consistent Princess Posh (Brenton Avdulla), who scored at the Wyong Cup carnival earlier in the month before finishing sixth in the Tibbie (less than two and a half lengths behind Zanbagh).
“She was strong late in the Tibbie, and is sure to run well again from a good draw,” Lees said.
Kerrin McEvoy rides Hallelujah Boy. The former Japanese horse didn’t race up to expectations at his Australian debut when 12th to Mr Sneaky in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m) at Caulfield on September 2, and pulled up a little short in his action.
Lees brought the five-year-old home, and feels the addition of blinkers will certainly help him.
“He’s a stallion, and I’m sure the blinkers will keep him focused,” he said.
Lees also is expecting a much better showing from Karavali (Glyn Schofield) in the Benchmark 82 Handicap (1600m).
The former New Zealand mare blotted her copybook at Rosehill Gardens last time out when last of seven runners in a Benchmark 76 Handicap (1500m) on September 9.
Previously, she had registered three seconds and a first-up victory on the Beaumont track on August 26 since arriving from New Zealand.
“I think we rode her a bit too close at Rosehill, and she didn’t finish off,” Lees said.
“Her form before that was excellent, and I’m prepared to overlook the Rosehill performance.”
Lees’ other Warwick Farm runners at the public holiday meeting are Olympic Academy (Hugh Bowman) and Doukhan (Avdulla) in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (2200m).
“They are both suited by the distance, and are in with chances,” Lees said.
Olympic Academy, last year’s Taree Cup winner, finished third under 61kg in the Tuncurry Cup (2100m) on September 8, whilst imported stayer Doukhan is getting fitter following two runs from a long break.
He wasn’t disgraced when sixth (beaten less than four lengths) to Broadside in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 15.
Lees will make a decision on triple Group 1 winner Le Romain’s immediate spring program after he gallops on the course proper in the morning.
Singing is likely to represent the stable in next Friday’s Port Macquarie Showcase Cup (2000m), which carries a record purse of $150,000.
Admiral Jello, whose rider Corey Brown was unsuccessful in gaining a protest result over Auvray in the Group 3 Colin StephenQuality (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, is heading toward the $500,000 ATC St Leger Stakes (2600m) at Randwick on October 14 (TAB Everest day).