Jan 10, 2019
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, January 10, 2019: KRIS Lees is likely to have only one representative at Saturday’s rich Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast – but he is giving her a strong chance.
Talented mare Sasso Corbaro lines up against her own sex in the $1m Fillies and Mares (1300m), and Corey Brown will ride her.
The race is run under set weights and penalties conditions, and Sasso Corbaro comes in with the limit (55.5kg).
The All Too Hard four-year-old lifted her record to four wins from 11 starts with a determined finish first-up (with 58kg) at the Sunshine Coast on Boxing Day in a Benchmark 75 Handicap (1200m), coming from last of the seven runners on the home turn.
“It was good to see her back in winning form, and she has trained on well since,” Lees said this morning.
“Sasso Corbaro has drawn a bit awkwardly, but I’m still expecting another good run from her.”
Sasso Corbaro also drew poorly at this meeting last year when sixth of 16 to Pierata in the MM 3YO Guineas (1400m).
Unlike her Sunshine Coast performance, she raced up on the pace in the Guineas attempting to overcome her wide barrier.
Lees’ other Gold Coast acceptor is Not Surprising (Brenton Avdulla) in the MM Country Cup (1200m), but she is third emergency and her trainer isn’texpecting her to secure a start.
If not, she will run at Doomben next Wednesday.
Lees has three runners at Saturday’s Royal Randwick fixture – two of them in the same race.
Turnberry (apprentice Robbie Dolan) and Chalmers (Darryl McLellan) oppose each other in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1500m), and both four-year-oldsare in good form.
Lees has decided to put blinkers back on Chalmers, who has been runner-up at his last two starts.
“I’m hoping they will help him focus a bit better,” he explained.
“I’m sure both horses will run well again, but I would have to lean to Turnberry, who hasn’t done anything wrong this campaign.
“Dolan’s 3kg drops him back to 58kg, and he has the rails alley. He is coming back 300m and I’m sure he will be hard to beat.”
Turnberry won first-up over 1400m at Rosehill Gardens on November 10, and has been placed at all three subsequent starts – the latest a close third to Live and Free in an 1800m Benchmark 78 at Randwick on December 29.
Chalmers has had to play “second fiddle” to Randwick-trained Dawn Raid at his last two starts, at Newcastle on December 22 (1600m) and again at Canterbury last Friday night (1550m).
He carried 60.5kg then and drops 3.5kg, but has drawn the outside barrier in a field of 11 with the rail out a fair distance (9m from the 1600m to the winning post and 7m for the remainder).
In-form apprentice Dolan has also been booked for pacy filly Designer Maid in the Benchmark 74 Handicap (1000m) for three and four-year-olds.
A lightly-raced Master of Design three-year-old, she has been beaten only once in four starts to date.
Designer Maid is unbeaten twice since resuming, both in Class 2 Handicaps over 900m on her home track on November 21 and December 8.
“It’s a decent jump in grade, but she deserves her chance to go back to town,” Lees said. “Drawing soft and the 3kg claim dropping her weight to 51.5kg are both in her favour.”