Aug 05, 2019
NEWCASTLE: Monday, August 5, 2019: KRIS Lees will chase his third Missile Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday with Le Romain and Invincible Gem.
Provided both please in Broadmeadow gallops in the morning, the stablemates will take on favourite Alizee in the $200,000 Group 2 Missile (1200m), to be run under weight-for-age conditions.
The Lees pair contested the 2017 Missile run at Royal Randwick when Invincible Gem (Corey Brown) beat Le Romain (Glyn Schofield) after Lees had won the 2008 edition with Captain Bax (Tim Clark).
Only eight horses were nominated for the first Group race of the new season and Alizee today was posted as the early $1.60 favorite with Le Romain at $3.50 and Invincible Gem on the third line at $11.
Triple Group 1 winner Le Romain will be ridden by James McDonald, and Brenton Avdulla partners Group 1 placegetter Invincible Gem.
The stablemates have each trialled twice – at Newcastle on July 16 and again at Wyong 10 days later – in preparation for the beginning of their spring campaigns.
Meanwhile, Lees was pleased with how In Her Time, Graff and El Dorado Dreaming all came through their 800m barrier trial at Gosford this morning.
Graff (McDonald) finished fifth to Oakfield Twilight – dual The Everest winner Redzel was second – in the fastest of the three 800m heats, run in 49.56 secs (last 600m in 35.01).
In Her Time (Nash Rawiller) was sixth, and El Dorado Dreaming (Andrew Gibbons) was last of the eight runners.
“It was the first trial this time in work for each of them, and they weren’t out to do anything flash,” Lees said this afternoon.
“If you had to have a pick, Graff finished off nicely.
“He can trial again at Newcastle in a fortnight (Monday, 19th) and is likely to resume in the Concorde Stakes (1000m Group 3 at Randwick on September 7).
“Whilst James (McDonald) rode him today, we haven’t locked in a jockey for the spring. He has ridden Graff before in a trial.
“In Her Time doesn’t have to trial again in a fortnight. I’ll see how she progresses before making a decision, but I haven’t yet confirmed when she will resume.”
Dual Group 1 winner In Her Time has gained the Inglis slot in the $14m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 19, and Lees has not yet confirmed a return race for her.
El Dorado Dreaming will trial again at Newcastle on August 19, and Brisbane Cup winner Sixties Groove is also likely to reappear at that trial session.
Impressive last-start winner Our Candidate will start next in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (2400m) at Randwick on August 24.