By Tony Megahey
While the major focus for Kris Lees is on the Group One racing elite at Royal Randwick on Saturday, he has the numbers and the form to continue his regional dominance at Monday’s Scone TAB meeting.
The many lower tiered runners from his multiple Group-winning stable continue a record season at provincial and country meets in proximity to his Newcastle base, and Lees has strong prospects throughout Scone’s eight-race TAB program. His stable riders, Aaron Bullock and Andrew Gibbons are jockeys to follow with well credentialed contenders throughout the day.
Lees opens with three reps from four acceptances in a capacity field for a Yalumba Wines Maiden (1400m).
“If there’s a preference, All Too Soft has the exposed form; race fit with a good draw coming off a couple of handy placings, but it is an open maiden,” Lees offers.
The second event, a Cottage Scone Maiden (1000m), also has a capacity field with Lees represented by Illicit Romance, an impressive debut Gerry Harvey bred Snitzel filly, well educated off four barrier trials, and stable mate Ten Carat.
“Illicit Romance is a really nice filly; has a soft draw and shown ability in all her trials.” Ten Carat is drawn wide but back in grade after contesting city, Newcastle and Gosford maidens, and primed by a recent Beaumont barrier trial win.
In the sixth race, a Ranvet BM 65 (1700m) Lees is represented by potential stayer So You Merge, coming off the consistency of a Port Macquarie win and placing over 1500m, and she powered to win at 1600m last prep at Tamworth.
“She’s a nice progressive mare, she’ll be really strong late, the track will suit and she might even be looking for further.” In the seventh event, Lees saddles up Time Out of Mind. “He’s mixing his form, he’s been competitive in a couple of city races but it’s a decent form race.”
The most convincing form lines for the stable is in the last race, an Iron Jack Class 2 (900m) where Deceptacon has earned all of her 61.5kg for stable rider Andrew Gibbons.
Last preparation, Deceptacon led to win a Scone 900m Maiden by a widening three lengths in fast time after starting favourite for Lees in a Canterbury Park Maiden. She’s resuming off successive Newcastle and Gosford placings and recent barrier trials.
“She certainly gets her chance in a suitable race, progressive mare, forward off two trials and has always shown ability.” The Scone track rating at present is a good four with fine weather predicted.