Aug 09, 2019
NEWCASTLE: Friday, August 9, 2019: LAST start winner Albert’s No Pussy is staying at home for Newcastle’s opening meeting of the new season tomorrow.
A wide draw at Doomben, where the rail is 5m out, influenced Kris Lees to bypass sending him north for a No Metropolitan Wins event for colts, geldings and entires over 1200m.
Instead, he will also line up against his own age in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m).
“Albert’s No Pussy was good last start in scoring at Scone over 1100m with a big weight,” Lees said.
“That was his third run this time in and he has taken further improvement from it.”
Aaron Bullock rides Albert’s No Pussy, and Lees also starts beaten first-up Wyong favourite Great Danger (Andrew Gibbons) in the same race.
“Great Danger has drawn awkwardly (the rail is 7m out at Newcastle), and we’ll have to go back and ride him quiet,” he said.
Great Danger, who races in the Le Romain colours, has raced only six times and figured in the placings all but once.
Lees, having just completed a record-breaking season of 249 winners and nearly $15m in prizemoney, is off to a flying start this season with eight winners in the first eight days, including a Kempsey double yesterday.
He will start all three acceptors – Vive Marie (apprentice Louise Day), Black And Tan (Bullock) and Sunreel (Gibbons) – in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) for fillies and mares.
“Both Vive Marie and Black And Tan are dropping back from midweek city races,” Lees said.
“Vive Marie has been freshened since she last raced in early July, and Black And Tan has been racing well in town and looks a top chance with even luck in running.
“Sunreel didn’t reproduce her earlier form at two starts last time in work, and has to be taken on trust first-up.”
Silver Melody (Bullock) is back on her home track where she made a winning debut in July last year, and Lees is hoping that will help her atone for her latest Hawkesbury defeat (seventh in a Benchmark 64 Handicap, 1000m) in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (900m).
Lees’ other home track acceptor Just Cosmos is an unlikely starter in the Maiden Handicap (900m).
Stablemates Tawfiq Boy (Ryan Wiggins) and Kool Vinnie (Ron Stewart) will both contest the Class 6 Plate (1350m) at Doomben tomorrow.
“It’s a very open race, but both can run well,” Lees said.