By Tony Megahey
A stellar season on the Group racing stage, and on the Provincial circuit, is odds-on to escalate for the Kris Lees’ stable at today’s Cessnock TAB meeting which will proceed on a heavy 10 track.
Enjoying the spectacular ride in a record eight million dollar plus prize-money season, are the Newcastle stable’s leading regional jockey Andrew Gibbons who rode a treble at the last Cessnock meeting, following a double at Taree , and guest Irish apprentice Louise Day.
They are again in charge of three Lees’ runners. Navua Mist and Sheilarized have been scratched.
Day rides maiden Biscuit Time in the first of the day. The three-year-old gelding heads the markets.
Gibbons rides Yarrapower favourite in the sixth event a class I sprint, and maiden Chastity Strikes in the third. While Gibbons has ridden 59 winners this season, the charming Day is making rapid improvement with every meeting after being recommended to Lees by Hugh Bowman and Ciaron Maher for whom she rode track work in Melbourne. The vital contact being Bowman’s Irish wife Christine who originally worked for world renowned Dermot Weld.
Day has ridden four winners this season for Lees, and one more results in her four kilo claim reduced to three. That’s a formality, given she has the luxury of the maximum claim on three form runners in the opening races.
Biscuit Time resumes in a 900m maiden after winning a recent Gosford trial, and an earlier Scone placing is adequate form for a moderate race.
In the sixth event Yarrarapower for Gibbons is the horse to beat after a last start Newcastle placing and the rails draw.
Lees has returned home to a celebrating stable, after a booming Brisbane carnival and successive Group One wins. Sense of Occasion's Doomben Cup, Clearly Innocent in the Kingsford-Smith, followed by his super Stradbroke placing from a wide and top weight at Doomben on Saturday.