Cameron Handicap runner-up Sound Proposition may be Kris Lees’s sole representative in Saturday week’s $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
Le Romain has returned to Newcastle from Melbourne following his Makybe Diva Stakes failure at Flemington last Saturday, and is “highly unlikely” to line up, whilst Invincible Gem, a race morning withdrawal from last Friday’s Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Broadmeadow, is out for the rest of the spring.
Lees’s only other Epsom possibility is Doomben Cup winner Sense of Occasion, but the trainer indicated this afternoon he may run instead in the $500,000 Group 2 Hill Stakes (1800m) on the same program.
“Le Romain pulled up with a dirty throat after the Makybe Diva, and I’ve brought him home,” Lees said. “I’ll monitor him, but it’s highly unlikely he will run in the Epsom (in which he has been given 58kg).
“I may trial him here on Friday week and then make a decision about the remainder of the spring. Invincible Gem has had a setback and won’t race again this campaign.”
Lees was satisfied with Sound Proposition’s 53.5kg in the Epsom and is looking for a replacement jockey. Blake Shinn rode the former New Zealand gelding when a brave second (under 59kg) to lightweight Got Unders in last Friday’s Group 3 Cameron (1500m) at Broadmeadow, and is booked for George Main Stakes runner-up Happy Clapper.
“It looks to be a weight Sound Proposition can be very competitive with and he’ll definitely line up in the Epsom,” Lees said. With Invincible Gem sidelined, Danish Twist will represent the stable in Saturday’s $400,000 Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Newcastle Gold Cup placegetter Admiral Jello is likely to back up in Saturday’s Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) at Rosehill: “I wasn’t planning to run him, but nominated him when there were only a few entries for the race,” Lees said.
Australian Turf Club received only six nominations for the Colin Stephen and has extended the closing deadline until 11am on Tuesday. Clearly Innocent galloped between races at home last Saturday and will resume in Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Lees is remaining hopeful his Group 1 winner can clinch one of the final slots in the field for the inaugural $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14. “I’m happy enough with Clearly Innocent, and obviously a strong performance in the Premiere might help us get him into The Everest,” he said.