Oct 12, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, October 12, 2017: DOOMBEN Cup winner Sense Of Occasion may be one of champion mare Winx’s rivals in the Cox Plate later this month.
Sense Of Occasion is an acceptor for Saturday’s $500,000 Craven Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick, but Kris Lees has not yet committed him to a start.
“Unless Randwick gets more rain, my current thinking is to send him to Melbourne,” Lees said this morning.
“I am considering running him in the Cox Plate as Winx’s dominance seems likely to result in the field falling away.
“Sense Of Occasion will run in either that race or the Cantala Stakes at Flemington a week later.”
The $3m Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) will be run at Moonee Valley on October 28, and Winx will be attempting to equal Kingston Town’s feat of three wins in the glamor weight-for-age event.
The Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) is run on November 4 at the beginning of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Lees had third placegetter Samantha Miss (who subsequently won the Group 1 VRC Oaks at Flemington) in Maldivian’s 2008 Cox Plate, and won last year’s Cantala with Le Romain.
Sense Of Occasion has raced twice against Winx. He ran third to her in the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (over the Craven Plate course) in April, and then resumed when eighth to her in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), also at Randwick, on September 2.
Lees also accepted with Singing in the Craven Plate and Doukhan in Saturday’s St Leger Stakes (2600m); both owned by Australian Bloodstock and clients.
“I’m still not certain either will run,” Lees said. “I’ll talk with the boys (Australian Bloodstock) and make a decision.”
Yulong Xingsheng is a definite starter in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m), and will sport a barrier blanket when she enters the stalls on Saturday.
“Her rider Kerrin McEvoy recommended it,” Lees said.
“Yulong Xingsheng is fitter for two recent fourths, and I’m sure she is looking for the 1400m.”
Lees has pulled the pin on a planned Queensland trip with Not Surprising, who has won two of her last three starts.
The mare drew poorly in a capacity field in the No Metropolitan Wins Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on Saturday and was made second emergency.