By Tony Megahey
Regional record breaker Kris Lees and emerging young trainer Stirling Osland provide the strongest push for punters at Tuesday’s Scone TAB meeting.
Lees has the formidable presence of ten representatives throughout the eight-race Scone programme.
A treble at least is likely through solid race form and barrier trials into respective races for Stella Sea Sun, Derby Star, Power of Wexford, Off The Dial, plus other debut triallers.
Armidale’s Stirling Osland, a city TAB Highway winner, has the circumstances in his favour to take out the feature staying race - the Xmas Party (2200m).
Osland has weight advantages with Rage Against and Exilia Miss, opposing Baroque Girl, highly fancied off her recent Inverell Digger’s Cup win.
There, Baroque Girl beat Exilia Miss by just a head and, on Tuesday, Exilia Miss meets Baroque Girl a whopping 5kg better through the 3kg claim off the 59kg for emerging apprentice Reece Jones.
Apprenticed to Scone’s Rod Northam and a professional only since late August, Reece, 22, has ridden nine winners.
Rage Against is coming off an Armidale winning double where he conceded Baroque Girl 1.5kg in beating her narrowly in the 1900m Spring Cup.
He subsequently finished third in tougher Saturday grade at Newcastle. A seven-race winner, Rage Against carries 58.5 kg for Matthew Paget.
“Rage Against has been racing in better fields against stayers on the way up; he’s well weighted, race fit and proven at the distance.” Stirling assessed.
“He’s probably my preference although the mare is so well weighted compared Baroque Girl.
“She’s getting out to her best trip but Rage Against is in a better place at this stage of their preps. But I’m expecting they’ll both run well headed for a 1900m at home in a couple of weeks.”
Scone is rated a good four track in fine weather.