Newcastle trainer Kris Lees believes wet-track specialist Knit‘n’Purl will be the best of his four chances on Thursday at Hawkesbury of qualifying a second runner in the $400,000 Provincial Championships final.
WET AND WILD: The Kris Lees-trained Knit’n’Purl, pictured winning on a heavy 10 surface at Randwick in August last year, will jump from barrier four on Thursday at Hawkesbury. Picture: bradleyphotos南京夜生活南京桑拿
Princess Posh gave Lees a first runner in the April 8 final at Randwick with a third at Wyong last week in the first of five qualifiers.
He will have Knit‘n’Purl, Lomazzo, Reach For Heaven and Star Reflection vying for a top-three finish in the 1400-metre Hawkesbury race and others lined up for the March 15 Gosford, March 23 Kembla Grange and March 29 Newcastle qualifiers. Lees had the final quinella last year with Danish Twist and Powerline and trained eight of the 15 qualifiers.
Hawkesbury was rated a heavy 9 on Wednesday after more rain, which helpedKnit‘n’Purl sit second favourite with TAB Fixed Odds at $4.20.The four-year-old More Than Ready mare hasthree wins and two placings in eight starts on wet tracks and two victories from three runs on heavy going.
Lees said all of his runners had “a chance with the right run”but Knit‘n’Purl was the standout.
“She handles the wet and is probably the best chance,” Lees said.“She rarely runs a bad race.She’s a well-bred mare but she got injured early in her career and had a bit of time off, but she’s come back and this is her second prep back and she’s doing a good job.”
Passed in at $240,000 at the 2014 Inglis Australia Easter Yearling Sales,Knit‘n’Purl won first-up for Lees at Newcastle as a two-year-old but washurt in a race atGrafton two starts later and hadbone fragments removed.She now has earned $137,020 in prizemoney and four wins in 13 starts.
Racing NSW reports:Lees will attempt to win Australia’s greatest 1600m race first-up with Sense Of Occasion.
Lees on Wednesday announced the gelding will go into the $3 million Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 1 during The Championships without a recent start.
He successfully employed a similar plan in winning the $250,000 group 2 Villiers Stakes with Sense Of Occasion over the Doncaster course on December 17 last year.The victory guaranteed the six-year-old a berth in the Doncaster.
Sense Of Occasion followed his Villiers’ triumph with a second to Red Excitement in the Gosford Gold Cupon January 13.He again showed his liking for rain-affected ground by winning a 1200m barrier trial at Wyong on Monday.
“I thought about starting Sense Of Occasion again before the Doncaster, but decided to run him first-up,” Lees said.“Obviously this is going to be a tougher assignment than the Villiers, but he races well fresh, so we’ll give it another try.”
Sense Of Occasion was eased after finishing fourth to Junoob in the City Tattersalls Cup (2400m) at Randwick on 15 October, and also won a 1200m Gosford trial 12 days before his barnstorming Villiers performance.
The gelding has been successful at three of his seven first-up runs.
Lees already holds a strong Doncaster hand with dual group 1 winner Le Romain, whichwill continue his campaign in Saturday’s group 1Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.
Singing, whichalso trialled at Wyong on Monday, is likely to resume at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday week.
The French import’s career has been plagued by injury. He has raced only 18 times for four wins and six placings.
Singing hasn’t started since being injured when seventh to Sacred Master in the group 3 Newcastle Cup (2200m) on the Beaumont track on September 16.
He won a 1200m trial on Broadmeadow’s new course proper on January 25, and his trainer will be happy just to get him back to the races.
Guard Of Honour is back home after finishing 11th to Sheidel in last Saturday’s group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.
The three-year-old was forced to race wide from an awkward draw and, in the circumstances, ran creditably at his first start against older horses at racing’s elite level.
“At this stage, we’ll look to get him ready for a race toward the end of the Sydney autumn carnival,” Lees said.Categories : 南京夜网