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Lees' Three Out To Claim Taree Cup

Kris Lees has won two and hasn’t missed a placing in the last four years in the Taree Cup (2000m).

Now he is aiming for a third success in Sunday’s $80,000 feature – and will have three representatives in his bid to do so.

Lees has confirmed Olympic Academy (Darryl McLellan), Our Gravano (Aaron Bullock) and Dubaiinstyle (Andrew Gibbons) all will contest Taree’s flagship race.

Lees won the 2014 Cup with Slivovitz (Gibbons), and that horse ran third to Ghost Protocol the following year. He also scored in 2016 with Olympic Academy (Bullock), who also backed up last year and finished ninth to $31 roughie Pirate Ben, whilst Lees also started third placegetter Admiral Jello ($3.20 favorite).

“Olympic Academy hasn’t fired in both runs back this time in, but hopefully he can recapture form on a track he obviously knows well,” Lees said.

“Our Gravano mixes his form, but has a touch of class.

“Dubaiinstyle had his first run for us when fourth over 1600m at Warwick Farm at the start of the month and has won at the distance.”

Promising filly Miss Fabulass pulled up well after her Canterbury victory on resumption on Wednesday and will step up to black type company next in the $200,000 Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on September 1.

Our Gravano (Aaron Bullock) is one of three chances for Kris Lees in the Taree Cup. Credit: Bradley Photos.

It was good to get that maiden win out of the road, and her immediate target is the Flight Stakes (1600m $500,000 Group 1 at Randwick on September 29),” Lees said.

Miss Fabulass’ dam Samantha Miss won the Flight in 2008 before a Cox Plate (2040m) placing at Moonee Valley and dominant VRC Oaks (2500m) triumph at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.

“It is most likely we will stick to the fillies’ races in Sydney this spring with Miss Fabulass, and it’s doubtful she will run in the Golden Rose (1400m $1m Group 1 for three-year-olds of both sexes at Rosehill on September 22),” Lees said.

“Her Flight lead-up will be a week earlier at Randwick in the Tea Rose Stakes (1400m $200,000 Group 2).”

Lees will trial unbeaten three-year-olds Smart Melody and Gem Song at Monday’s Beaumont session, as well as last year’s Group 1 Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion.

“I’ll wait until after Smart Melody and Gem Song trial before deciding when they will resume,” he said.

“The same with Sense Of Occasion. He is at his best on wet ground, but that’s not likely in the near future and we’ll have to kick off a new campaign with him soon.”

View the fields and form (including race replays) for Sunday's Taree Cup meeting here.

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