Kris Lees has confirmed a dual representation in Saturday’s $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on The Championships Day 2. And he has booked now Hong Kong-based Sam Clipperton to partner French import Singing, one of his two runners.
Corey Brown stays with Sense Of Occasion, on whom he finished third to all-the-way winner It’s Somewhat in last Saturday’s $3m The Star Doncaster Mile at the same track. Nine horses have accepted for Saturday’s Group 1 feature – the richest race of The Championships – with mighty mare Winx the dominant favorite at $1.10 as she chases a 17th consecutive victory.
Left: Sense Of Occasion (Ben Melham) holds out Dibayani to win the Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick last December. Image by - Steve Hart Photographics
Lees, who won last year’s Queen Elizabeth with Lucia Valentina, decided to accept with both Sense Of Occasion and Singing after checking them this morning before heading to Sydney for the start of the last Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sales to be conducted at the historic Newmarket venue.
Sense Of Occasion was bright and in good order after cantering, and Singing galloped well. Sense Of Occasion drew barrier four, and Singing came up with the outside alley (nine). Winx drew barrier three.
Under the conditions of the Queen Elizabeth, all nine horses will receive prizemoney (provided they start), with Australian Turf Club guaranteeing prizemoney all the way down to $30,000 for the ninth placegetter.
Six-year-old Sense Of Occasion can lift his career earnings beyond $1m by finishing in the “first four” on Saturday. Seven-year-old Singing, though yet to win in four Australian starts, has been placed twice. He resumed when 11th to subsequent Doncaster winner It’s Somewhat in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 11.
Lees has three acceptors in Saturday’s $400,000 Provincial Championships Final (1400m), with both Clevedon Bay and Princess Posh guaranteed starts and Knit ‘N’ Purl the first emergency. Clevedon Bay (Tommy Berry) drew barrier six, Princess Posh (Kerrin McEvoy) drew barrier 18 and Knit ‘N’ Purl has barrier five in a capacity field of 15 plus four emergencies.
Lees won last year’s Provincial Championships Final with Danish Twist, who runs in Saturday’s $1m Group 1 Coolmore Legacy (1600m).