Jul 11, 2019
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, July 11, 2019: FORMER Kiwi stayer Mongolian Wolf has been sent to Queensland to try to break a 13-month and 13-start losing streak.
Kris Lees had no hesitation in deciding to back up the five-year-old in the Open Handicap (2020m) at Doomben on Saturday, and booked retiring senior statesman Jeff Lloyd to ride him on his final day in the saddle.
Mongolian Wolf has raced on the last two Saturdays in Sydney – finishing fourth over 2000m at Rosehill Gardens on June 29 and again fourth over 1800m at Royal Randwick last Saturday – but his trainer had a perfect reason for sending him to his Gold Coast base.
“Mongolian Wolf is a deadset wet tracker and I wanted to give him another opportunity to break through before the tracks start to dry up,” Lees said this afternoon.
“It’s a long time since he has won, but he has done well since racing at Randwick last Saturday and gets his chance in a small field (six runners).
“He is my only runner at Doomben, and it would be great to win this race on Jeff’s final day of race riding.”
Mongolian Wolf, a five-year-old by Pluck, won the 2017 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick as a three-year-old (on a Heavy 8), and hasn’t been successful since taking a Benchmark 82 Handicap (2400m) at Morphettville on June 2 last year.
He has started 13 times since for three placings, and has raced on four occasions since joining Lees’ stable earlier this year.
Lees has two acceptors at Saturday’s provincial meeting at Wyong; Lucitor in the Maiden Plate (2100m) and Great Danger in the Class 2 Handicap (1200m).
Andrew Gibbons has been booked for both horses.
“I’ve also got Lucitor in at Cessnock on Monday (in a 2125m Class 1/Maiden Plate) and haven’t made a decision yet which way we go,” Lees said.
“Great Danger will definitely run first-up and is going well. I’m sure he will be very competitive.”
Lees withdrew Only Wanna Sing from a Wyong engagement to run at Hawkesbury on Sunday, in a Class 1 Handicap (1300m).
The three-year-old will be partnered by stable apprentice Louise Day and is deserving of a breakthrough, having been placed at all three starts since resuming.
He also runs Silver Melody (Day) and Not Surprising (Gibbons) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1000m) with a preference for the former, and Hermosa Reward (Gibbons) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).