By Tony Megahey
In form multiple Group winning trainer Kris Lees, and Muswellbrook mentor Mark Schmetzer provide the strongest push for punters at Saturday’s Kempsey TAB meeting.
Lees has three lightly raced runners expected to be hard to beat in lesser profile races after his next potential Group performer, Sugar Bella completed a spectacular winning double at $1.40 at Royal Randwick last Saturday.
“She’s exciting, up to better grade, maybe a freshen and a race like the Triscay; but my runners at Kempsey are there for a reason in their right grade,” Lees offered.
Three-year-old filly Seacraft makes her race debut for Lees in the O’Donnell and Hanlon Maiden (1000m). She will carry 55.5 kg for stable rider Andrew Gibbons.
“She’s had the benefit of three trials, shown ability so she’ll be competitive providing she gets some luck from the wide draw, but it is a small field,” Lees said.
With moderate exposed local form opposing her, the Lees influence and upside guarantees Seacraft will start a short-priced favourite.
Gibbons also rides staying prospect Lithely in the Kempsey Macleay Motors Class 1 and Maiden (1900m).
“She’s by Melbourne Cup winner Americain, so she’ll appreciate getting out over more ground; she’s only had the three runs, and they’ve been okay,” Lees offered.
Gibbons’ third ride for the premier provincial stable is three-year-old gelding Revere in the Angove Family Wines Maiden (1400m.)
“He’s fitter for just the one run where he got lost a little on debut, he’s benefited with the experience and he’s back a bit in this grade,” Lees said.
Revere started $2.05 when fifth in a Tamworth Maiden after showing promise when second in a Wyong barrier trial.
Mark Schmetzer will be hard to beat again on last start winners; Zarsis in the Kempsey Macleay RSL BM 49 (1450m) and promising Hazlebrook in the Akubra Hats BM 50 (1000m).
Kempsey will race on good four track in fine weather and the club provides betting services on the corresponding Randwick and interstate meetings.