Jan 04, 2019
NEWCASTLE: Friday, January 4, 2019: HIGH Power has joined Kris Lees’ Gold Coast stable and is in a race to suit there tomorrow.
High Power (Damian Browne) and stablemate Bochy (Robbie Fradd), who has done his recent racing in Queensland, both contest the Benchmark 80 Handicap (2200m).
Lees this morning, understandably, pointed strongly to the former as his best prospect.
The lightly-raced four-year-old has performed well at all four starts this preparation, including a victory in the Newcastle heat of the Spring Provincial Series (1500m) before an excellent third (after being pushed very wide on the home turn) to Bobbing in the $150,000 1600m final at Kembla Grange on December 1.
He then ran third (under 60kg) to all-the-way winner Dylan’s Romance on a ‘Heavy 8’ in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1900m) at Canterbury 13 days later.
“High Power is now ready to step up to 2200m, and I’m sure it will suit him,” Lees said.
“From his inside draw and with Browne aboard and a drop inweight (to 56.5kg), he should get the run of the race.
“I feel he has a great chance to win another race.
“Bochy won his last start at the Sunshine Coast over 1900m, but this is a fair rise in class.”
Lees has been looking for softer tracks for eight-year-old Articus in Sydney, but has sent him north to run in tomorrow’s Benchmark 90 Handicap (1800m) at the Gold Coast.
Articus performed well at his first two runs back when second at huge odds at Royal Randwick on October 20 (1400m) and third in the Goulburn Cup (1600m) on November 25.
He then never got into the race when 11th to Sky Boy in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 15.
The Gold Coast track was rated a ‘Soft 5’ this morning, and Lees feels Articus (Larry Cassidy) will run well.
“It’s a drop back from the class he has been racing against, and the 1800m will be more to his liking,” he said.
Star Reflection (Browne) lines up in the Class 6 Plate (1400m) after a last-start $71 victory at Randwick on December 15.
“Her best form has been at Randwick on soft ground, and I was surprised she was at such a long price that day,” Lees said.
“Star Reflection has trained on well and, like Articus, will be even better suited if there is rain at the Coast.”
. Lees has a number of acceptors at Wyong tomorrow, but recent winners Mimic (Benchmark 64 F&M Handicap, 1350m) and Time and Again (1100m Class 1 Handicap) are not certain starters.
Mandatum (Andrew Gibbons), after six barrier trials(including five seconds), debuts in the Maiden Plate (1200m), and Lees feels the Commands four-year-old will take improvement from the outing.
He has decided to remove blinkers from Only Wanna Sing (Gibbons) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1350m) for colts, geldings and entires.
“His form has been a bit hot and cold, but comes back to provincial company and going up to 1350m should help,” Lees said.
Moana Marie (Darryl McLellan) contests a similar race against her own sex, and comes in as a narrow winner of a Coffs Harbour Maiden Plate (1200m) on December 13.
“She is only lightly-raced and still improving, but I’m not sure whether it’s a bridge too far going to provincial class at this stage.”