Kris Lees is already looking ahead to the autumn with Just Dreaming, who is seeking another Rosehill Gardens success on Saturday.
The track specialist will have a new rider in the Benchmark 90 Handicap (1400m), bidding for the sixth win of her career and her fourth from five starts there.
Dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown replaces apprentice Rachel King, who has partnered the mare at five of her 12 outings – for two wins and two seconds.
“Absolutely nothing against Rachael at all,” Lees said. “I have claimed on Just Dreaming with Rachel at her last four runs as she has had 59.5kg three times and 59kg on the other occasion. She is down to 57.5kg, and I thought it was the right time to go back to a senior rider. Tommy Berry has won three races on Just Dreaming, including two in town.”
Just Dreaming, a four-year-old mare by Snitzel, is building an impressive record with a near 50 per cent win record.
“It’s another test for her on Saturday going to a Benchmark 90, but she keeps taking the next step,” Lees said. “She has trained on well since her last win at Rosehill a fortnight ago. Normally, you would probably look at a race such as the Villiers (1600m) at Randwick in December with her, but this almost certainly will be her last run this preparation. I wanted to give her only a light spring, and look to the autumn with her. She deserves her chance at the better races.”
Just Dreaming has raced only three times this campaign, and with 57.5kg (the same weight she has on Saturday) was too strong for Dagny and O’Reilly’s Revenge in a Benchmark 83 over 1500m at Rosehill on November 11.
Brown also partners Feelin The Love for Lees in the Benchmark 82 Handicap (1200m), whilst Tim Clark has the mount on High Opinion, who resumes in the Benchmark 83 Handicap (1500m).
Feelin The Love has been improved by two runs this time in. She trekked north when fifth to Manaya in a Class 6 Handicap (1350m) against her own sex on a firm surface at Doomben on November 4.
“She is looking for some give in the ground, but I’m not sure that we are going to get it,” Lees said.
Four of Feelin The Love’s six wins have been on rain-affected surfaces.
High Opinion has been off the scene since scoring over 1900m at Canterbury on November 5 last year, when Clark was his rider.
“Tendon trouble has kept him sidelined,” Lees explained. “So far he is handling his work well, and has had the benefit of two recent trials. We have taken our time with him, and he is pretty handy at his best. Naturally, whatever he does on Saturday, he is going to take improvement from the race.”
High Opinion, a six-year-old by Argentinian stallion Lord Jim, has raced 26 times for five wins and nine placings. He has scored once and been placed twice from five first-up assignments.
Last Saturday’s Sandown winner Yulong Xingsheng has returned home for a well-earned break. Her autumn target will be the Randwick Guineas (1600m).