By Tony Megahey
Multiple Group-winning trainer Kris Lees is primed to continue his provincial dominance with several short-priced favourites at Monday’s Cessnock TAB meeting.
Lees, prolific at tracks in proximity to his Newcastle base, has five of his lower tiered runners throughout a seven-race TAB program of mostly capacity fields. Stable riders Andrew Gibbons, Aaron Bullock and Irish apprentice Louise Day share the duties with a stable treble likely.
Lees opens the program with stable newcomer Lilac Lane who is resuming after contesting a Flemington Listed event and a Randwick Group 3 last preparation in March.
“It’s a significant drop in grade for her; this is her first prep for us and while she’s limited she’s certainly in her right grade and forward enough,” Lees offered as Gibbons rides the Lonhro mare at 59kg in a XXXX Gold Class I (900m).
Bullock is aboard heavily-backed Taree debut maiden winner Furore in a Wine Country Motor Inn Class 2 (1570m): “He’s a nice Pierro gelding; closed off well to win on debut, he’s progressed, he’ll appreciate the distance and we’re taking the soft options bringing him through the grades.”
Septango, a Sepoy gelding, contests a Tyrrell’s Wine Maiden (1570m) for Gibbons following Quirindi and Taree sprint placings: “He’s race fit and suited out to the distance, and another one of ours in his right race.”
Consistent Miss Kyeema resumes from a spell in a Royal Oak Hotel Cessnock BM 55 (1150m) with a hefty 61.5kg reduced by Louise Day’s two-kilo claim: “She’s had a trial at Wyong, this is short of her best as her form is out to 1400m and 1500m, but she’ll be real strong late.”
Bullock rides One Invincible Cat in an East Cessnock Bowling Club Maiden Plate (1150m): “She’s a filly who has put together the consistency of four placings from five starts without being able to break through and she’s drawn to be competitive again,” finalised Lees amidst his best season yet. Cessnock will race on a good three track rating with present overcast conditions.