Feb 07, 2019
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, February 7, 2019: BLINKERS are going on Canterbury and Doomben contenders Front Sight and Raay Of Dreams for weekend assignments.
Kris Lees has opted to introduce the gear to the lightly-raced stablemates; Front Sight at Canterbury tomorrow night and Raay Of Dreams at Doomben on Saturday.
Front Sight (James McDonald) runs in the 3YO Maiden Handicap (1250m), and Raay Of Dreams (Jeff Lloyd) lines up in the 2YO Handicap (1200m).
Smart Missile gelding Front Sight was narrowly beaten at his only start, whilst Dream Ahead filly Raay Of Dreams has been placed at both her starts to date.
Lees this morning explained his reasoning behind putting blinkers on the pair for their respective assignments.
“Front Sight is staying at Canterbury, where he was just edged out on debut, and I feel the addition of blinkers will help especially as he is going up only 50m,” he said.
“He is a promising young horse who I’m sure will run well again. But he’s likely to go for a break afterwards.
“Raay Of Dreams ran on gamely at her last start on the roomy Sunshine Coast track, and is going to the tighter Doomben circuit and staying at 1200m.
“Hopefully the blinkers will also help her, and she has to overcome the outside barrier in the small field (eight runners).”
Front Sight was runner-up to yesterday’s Kensington placegetter Kolding in a 3YO Maiden (1200m) against his own sex on January 23.
Raay Of Dreams finished third over 1000m at Tamworth on January 4 on debut and then filled the same placing behind the unbeaten Alligator Blood in a 2YO Classic Plate (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on January 26.
Lees has four acceptors at the Canterbury night meeting; his others being Clevanicc (1550m Benchmark 70 Handicap), High Opinion (1550m Benchmark 76 Handicap) and Our Gravano (1900m Benchmark 70 Handicap).
Hugh Bowman rides Clevanicc, Tim Clark has the High Opinion mount and form apprentice Robbie Dolan partners Our Gravano, lessening his weight to 60kg.
“Clevanicc got to a more suitable distance (1500m) at Port Macquarie last time at his third run back and hit the line well although beaten clearly,” Lees said.
“He is going from the country to a city race, but is capable on his day and not without a chance.
“High Opinion is on the comeback trail after re-injuring a tendon and hasn’t raced since winning over 2000m at Rosehill 12 months ago.
“He is a Canterbury winner and his two trials have been good.
“Our Gravano is fitter for three runs back and is down slightly in class. He is drawn nicely and I’m confident he will run well.”
Our Gravano finished fourth to Ivy’s Court in a Benchmark 72 Handicap over the same course on January 23, and Lees no doubt is hoping for a similar outstanding ride from Dolan, who got stablemate Zip A Dee Doo Dah home in the Canterbury closer last Friday night.
Aside from Raay Of Dreams, Lees also accepted with Pickelhaube (2200m Benchmark 75 Handicap) and Star Reflection (1350m Handicap) at Doomben.
He was undecided this morning whether to send Pickelhaube north, but Star Reflection is at his Gold Coast base and is a definite runner.
“She is in terrific form and maintaining her condition,” Lees said. “The rain this week is in her favour; she is going to get conditions to suit.”
Star Reflection scored at huge odds over 1200m at Royal Randwick on December 15 and then again at the Gold Coast on January 5 in a Class 6 Plate (1400m).
She followed up those victories up with another determined finish into second placing behind former Sydneysider Snoopy in a 1200m Handicap at Eagle Farm on January 19.