Next NSW Race

Latest News

Lees Has 'Zest' For Grafton

Kris Lees is targeting Grafton’s feature sprint next Wednesday with first-up specialist Zestful.

Lees today confirmed the six-year-old mare as a definite runner in the $160,000 Grafton District Services Club Ramornie Handicap (1200m), and has booked Corey Brown to ride her.

Zestful has won three of her four starts when resuming, and has trialled twice in preparation for a first-up tilt at the Ramornie. She ran second to Chauffeur over 1000m at Wyong on June 15, and 12 days later won a 900m Cessnock trial.

“I haven’t had many runners in the Ramornie, and Zestful is ready to go there and run well,” Lees said. “Her trials have been good and she is in great order.”

Zestful in action at Randwick. Credit: Steve Hart.

Lees is yet to win Grafton’s time-honored sprint but has managed two minor placings with now retired stable favorites. He ran second with Captain Bax (Tim Clark) to The Jackal in 2008, and third with Motspur (Brad Pengelly) to Jerezana in 2011.

Zestful hasn’t raced since finishing second to Faraway Town in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 17; a race which she won the previous year. She has 56.5kg at Grafton.

Lees also will have two runners in the $80,000 Tursa Inglis Bonus Grafton Guineas (1600m) on Wednesday’s Ramornie program.

Brown partners Turnberry and Tasmanian-based Craig Newitt rides Chalmers. Turnberry has been freshened since finishing 12th to Dark Dream in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on June 9. Two starts earlier, he was runner-up to Kurnel Jaxon in a Benchmark 70 Handicap over the Grafton Guineas distance.

Chalmers has been in outstanding form this campaign, winning twice and finishing second twice from four starts. He was kept up to the mark for his Grafton trip with a Cessnock trial on June 27 when he finished sixth to stablemate Tactical Advantage over 900m.

Lees has nominated 38 rising two-year-olds for next year’s $3.5m Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens. A record 2452 youngsters (1205 colts and geldings and 1247 fillies) have been entered for the world’s richest two-year-old race.

Lees has withdrawn Weigela from the 1200m Maiden Plate at Newcastle tomorrow, and will rely on Sunreel (Andrew Gibbons). His other local starters are debutants Peyton Place (Gibbons) and Silver Melody (Robert Thompson) in the 900m Maiden Plate, Elicano (Thompson), Aliferous (Mitchell Bell) and Mimic (Gibbons) in the 1200m 2YO Maiden Plate, and Ivory Jane (Gibbons) in the 1400m Class 1 Handicap).

View the nominations for Grafton's Ramornie Handicap Day here.

The Latest Racing News

Widdup's Pleasure & Pain After Warwick Farm Upset

Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup clinched his fourth city success this season at Warwick Farm on Wednesday but there was both ...
Read More

Racing NSW: Appointment Of Board Members

Initially placed on the Racing NSW website on 12 September 2018 Expressions of interest are invited from persons wishing to ...
Read More

Notice: Stablehands, Forepersons & Bookmaker’s Clerks Licence Renewals

Racing NSW, in conjunction with Racing Australia, introduced last season the ability for licence renewals to be completed online via ...
Read More

2019 Country Championships Eligibility

Owners and trainers are reminded that to contest the 2019 Country Championships, horses must legitimately be under the care of ...
Read More

'Tiny' Tarka Payne's New Gloaming Ace

By Ray Hickson Trainer David Payne says Tarka has always punched a bit above his weight but with a few ...
Read More
Racing NSW Apps
Mobile Version
Industry Links