Samantha Miss' little girl, Miss Fabulass, is ready to go to the races, but her trainer Kris Lees is doubtful she will be a contender for this year’s renewal of the $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 24.
Miss Fabulass (Aaron Bullock) won the second of her three barrier trials to date on the Beaumont track on Wednesday morning, scoring in 60.87secs (last 600m in 34.39s) over 1000m. Lees has pencilled in a midweek 2YO Fillies Maiden (1100m) at Rosehill on February 28 for the beautifully-bred daughter of unbeaten English champion Frankel to kick off her racing career.
Whilst the John Singleton-owned Miss Fabulass remains a second acceptor for the world’s richest two-year-old race, Lees is not looking that far ahead at this stage: “Miss Fabulass is a nice filly, but I don’t think she is a Slipper horse,” he said.
“I feel she will handle more ground than the Slipper 1200m. She looks a lot like her mother (who is also a bay) and also is a bit of a handful, probably even more so than Samantha Miss.”
Miss Fabulass has plenty to live up to. Wonder horse Frankel didn’t have his colours lowered in 14 starts, whilst Samantha Miss also won on debut on the Kensington track on 12 March 2008 and then finished third and fourth in traditional Golden Slipper lead-ups, but did not contest the glamor race.
Instead, she ran a game second to Slipper winner Sebring in the Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, then turned the tables on him a week later in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) at the same track.
She retired as the winner of seven of her 12 starts, which included three Group 1s (Champagne, 1600m Flight Stakes and 2500m VRC Oaks). Samantha Miss also was an unlucky third to Maldivian in the 2008 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley prior to her Oaks romp at Flemington against her own sex. Lees had a number of his stable stars trial yesterday morning, including Sense Of Occasion, Sound Proposition, Invincible Gem and Le Romain.
Lees chose to trial last year’s Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion (he ran fourth to The Mission in a 1000m Open heat) rather than begin his autumn campaign in Saturday’s Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
“He will most likely resume in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3 (against Winx), but I haven’t got a definite target with him at this stage,” he said. “I would like to have him ready for The BMW (2400m at Rosehill on March 31), but that will depend largely on the weather. I don’t want to run him on hard tracks. Sound Proposition (5th in the same trial) is now ready to go the races, but he also likes a bit of jar out of the ground.”
Lees described Invincible Gem’s third to well-performed Shiraz in another 1000m heat (in 61.41s) as a “really nice trial”. “Fitness wise, there is more improvement in her, but that will come with further trackwork,” he said. “I’m very pleased with how she is coming along.”
Lees’s thrice Group 1 winner Le Romain was given a soft trial when last of five runners behind King Hewitt in an 800m heat in 47.6secs, but was only one and a half lengths away at the end.
Le Romain’s Melbourne spring campaign was ended prematurely after finishing 11th in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last September, then he got sick after returning home: “We’re looking at the All Aged Stakes (1400m Group 1 at Randwick on April 21) at the end of the carnival, provided he continues to progress.”