By Ray Hickson
Clearly Innocent may only get one chance to impress Everest slot holders as trainer Kris Lees deliberates over where the Group 1 winner returns in September.
Lees said he hasn’t asked a lot of the six-year-old since he returned from Queensland and today’s trial at Gosford was simply a day out.
Clearly Innocent beat one horse home in the 800m heat, almost nine lengths from the winner, but Lees left satisfied and is now tossing up whether to tackle The Shorts (1100m) on September 16 or give him a bit more time.
“He’s only had two gallops and one real piece of fast work (last Saturday),’’ Lees said.
"He possibly goes to The Shorts or first-up into the Premiere Stakes (September 30). He raced very well second-up last preparation (winning the Luskin Star at Scone) so that's in our minds.
"There’s been preliminary (Everest) discussions. People are keeping the powder dry until it gets closer which is probably a smart thing from all parties.’’
Group 1 placed filly Whispered Secret also had a quiet hit out at Gosford with Lees likely to kick off her spring in the Group 2 $200,000 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday week.
She won her first trial earlier in the month but certainly wasn’t asked to raise a sweat this time around.
“She’s a lightly framed filly and doesn’t carry much excess at all,’’ he said.
"Possibly she’ll run in the Furious but they’ll be too sharp for her there, once the races get longer she will be competitive.
"I didn’t want her to do a lot with a view that she could run next Saturday.’’
Sound Proposition, Lees’s leading hope for his hometown Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) on September 15, did little more than follow them around in his barrier trial.
“I didn’t put any of mine under pressure, when the rail is out at Gosford the trial is over before you start to make ground,’’ Lees said.
Meanwhile, Lees remains cautious about the return of last year's Flight Stakes placegetter Skylight Glow in the ASX Thomson Reuters Charity Foundation Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Formerly with James Cummings, the four-year-old hasn’t raced since November and is yet to win first-up but has trialled twice this month.
“She will run well though she will probably spot them a big start from the gate,’’ he said.