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Summer Set To Arrive Early At Mudgee (Sunday)

Tony Megahey

The Kris Lees stable - maintaining a record season high with the latest emerging talent Smart Melody - follows up with strong prospects at Sunday’s Mudgee TAB meeting.

Smart Melody exploded to win by a widening five lengths in smart time at Canterbury Park on Wednesday and will be set for three-year-old classics after a break: “She deserves her chance now in better races, she’ll have a freshen and come back for the spring; she was impressive,” Lees enthused.

All Summer Long (Jean Van Overmeire) following a Newcastle win. Image by Bradley Photographers

Focusing on Mudgee, performed veteran All Summer Long continues his comeback for Lees since transferring from Greg Bennett and is favourite in the feature event, the $20,000 AlFabs Cup (1400m).

All Summer Long carries 61kg for Andrew Gibbons at his second run from a spell and significantly had two barrier trials before a solid closing fourth over 1280m at Muswellbrook two weeks ago.

“Out to 1400m suits him at this stage of his prep, he’s fitter, but he’ll need some luck drawn wide and he’ll get back,” Kris assessed.

While All Summer Long eased significantly in betting when fourth of just eight starters at Muswellbrook, a below capacity field at Mudgee, extra distance and fitness are the keys.

And All Summer Long has proven heavy and soft track form (Mudgee is currently a soft 5) with Andrew Gibbons to be riding.

Lees will also be represented by three-year-old filly Stellara in the opening event, also to be ridden by in-form Gibbons: “It was a suitable option going out from 1200m - she ready for the 'mile' she’s drawn well and is a race fit, consistent filly.”

Promising three-year-old filly Prontissimo (Andrew Gibbons) contests the sixth event a BM 65 (1200m) after narrow but determined wins at Taree and Muswellbrook in February and March: “She’s going okay off two trials but she’ll likely need more racing.” Prontissimo also has to contend with an extreme wide draw.

Lees and Gibbons combine again in the final event with rising filly La Biere Choisie who offers the consistency of two wins and five placings from 11 race starts.

“She’s ready for the extra trip, always puts in and is going along nicely, but again we’ll need some luck from the wide draw.”

View the final fields with full form & race replays for Mudgee here

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