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Lees Lifts The Lid On His Spring Stars

James McDonald got a “feel” of triple Group 1 winner Le Romain in a Gosford trial success on

Monday prior to riding him for the first time in a race at Royal Randwick on Saturday week.

Kris Lees confirmed McDonald’s booking for the classy sprinter when he begins a new campaign in the $150,000 Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m).

Le Romain was one of 36 horses Lees took to the Gosford trials, and the six-year-old showed he is set for another successful campaign by winning the opening 1000m trial in 62.23secs (last 600m in 35.77s).

“He trialled really well and is coming up beautifully once again,” Lees said. “James was very happy with him.

“That was Le Romain’s second trial, and he is ready to go back to the races.

“There are plenty of options with him; he might even go to Melbourne after the Show County for the Memsie Stakes (1400m Group 1 at weight-for-age) at Caulfield on September 1.”

Le Romain holds of Chautauqua to win the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick. Credit: Bradley Photos.

Le Romain was placed at his last three starts at weight-for-age (all Group 1s) – one in Sydney and two in Brisbane – before a break.

Stablemate Graff is also ready to begin a new campaign – but not until a week after Le Romain resumes. The Star Witness colt, unbeaten from two starts last season as a two-year-old, kicks off his three-year-old year in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) against his own age at Rosehill on August 25.

Graff, with McDonald also aboard, was narrowly beaten by another promising Newcastle three-year-old Jonker in an 800m heat in 48.18secs.

“Very happy with how he trialled; he also is coming up really well,” was Lees’ summation.

Likewise, Lees was thrilled with Guard Of Honour’s third to Show Me The Honey (inaugural The Everest winner Redzel was second) in an 800m heat in 49.65secs. Jason Collett had the mount on last start Gold Coast Bat Out Of Hell (900m) winner Guard Of Honour, who may resume in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 1.

Regally-bred Miss Fabulass (Frankel-Samantha Miss) finished strongly and just failed to overhaul stablemate Evalina in a 3YO fillies’ 800m trial in 49.47secs. Miss Fabulass (Kerrin McEvoy) sat off the pace and closed late, whilst Evalina (Aaron Bullock) led on the fence and wasn’t ridden out.

Miss Fabulass will reappear at Canterbury on Wednesday week in a 3YO Maiden Handicap (1100m), and I Am Invincible filly Evalina (who races in the same colours as Lees’ now retired former stable star Lucia Valentina) is likely to run at Newcastle the following day. Both fillies raced only once last season and each finished second; Miss Fabulass at Rosehill in February and Evalina at Newcastle in April.

Lees also produced an interesting newcomer at Gosford; lightly-raced and well-named former New Zealand mare Milseain (Irish for sweets and her dam is Bagalollies). McEvoy rode the Tavistock mare, who finished second to Falcon Island in a 1000m heat in 61.98secs (last 600m in 36.06s). Milseain has raced only five times for one win and four placings; the latest when third to Savvy Coup in the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in March.

Resilient eight-year-old Sense Of Occasion (McEvoy) finished sixth to Cabeza De Vaca in a 1000m heat at his first serious hitout this preparation. Last year’s Group 1 Doomben Cup winner hasn’t raced since finishing ninth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last November.

Another of Lees’ promising three-year-olds Gem Song (Collett) finished fourth to Bondi in an 800m trial in 49.47secs.

“He is a bit behind in his preparation, and will trial again,” Lees said.

Like Graff, the Your Song colt is unbeaten from two starts; at Warwick Farm in April and Rosehill in May.

Watch replays of each one of Gosford's Tuesday trials here. 

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