Kris Lees’s record-breaking season reached a new crescendo on Monday; a double at Tamworth’s TAB meeting lifted him to 150 wins for the 2016-17 season - 30 more than his previous best of 120 in 2014-15.
Lees sent five horses to Tamworth and scored with favourites Let’s Get Nauti Gal ($1.95) and Isthmian ($2.30). Both were ridden by Andrew Gibbons, who in the process notched a career-best 70 wins for the season.
Two-year-old filly Let’s Get Nauti Gal, placed in the $250,000 Inglis Classic at Royal Randwick in February, broke through in the 1200m Maiden Plate. Isthmian, raced by a Prime Thoroughbreds Syndicate, won his fourth race from nine starts when successful in the Class 3 Handicap (1000m).
Lees’s horses earned $23,535 prizemoney at Tamworth, lifting his season’s tally to nearly $8,736,000. With three weeks remaining until the season ends on July 31, a $9m season is definitely on the cards.
His previous best prizemoney season was last year when Lucia Valentina’s $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes’ victory at Randwick contributed to his haul of $7,526,523. Wonderful prizemoney and 150 winners (and counting) included, this has certainly been a watershed season for Lees.
He has also won a record four Group Ones during 2016-17; the Cantala Stakes at Flemington and Canterbury Stakes at Randwick (with Le Romain), Doomben Cup (Sense of Occasion) and Kingsford-Smith Cup with Clearly Innocent.