Invincible Gem’s brilliant Missile Stakes resumption has almost certainly forced Kris Lees to revise her immediate program.
Lees indicated he would most likely bypass Saturday week’s Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick with his talented mare and give her a break of four weeks between runs.
He is now looking at the $200,000 Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) – which he won three years ago with Lucia Valentina – at the same track on September 2 as Invincible Gem’s next target.
Beginning her four-year-old campaign, Invincible Gem (Corey Brown) beat stablemate and triple Group 1 winner Le Romain in last Saturday’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), run under weight-for-age conditions, at Randwick.
“The Tramway, being a set weights and penalties race, is shaping as a better alternative,” Lees said. “Invincible Gem has gone up 14 Benchmark points (94 to 108), which is understandable, for her win last Saturday.
“As a result, she would get a lot of weight in the Toy Show and I am mindful she has a long campaign ahead of her. If we wait for the Tramway, I will trial her again in the interim.”
Under the conditions of the Tramway, Invincible Gem would carry 55kg (including a 2kg penalty for her Missile success). After the Tramway, Invincible Gem will tackle the $400,000 Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) against her own sex at Rosehill Gardens on September 23, and her trainer is hoping to then get her to Melbourne for another shot at Group 1 glory in the Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 4.
Lees reported both Invincible Gem and Le Romain had come through their return races really well: “Le Romain will also have his next start on the same day as the mare, but in Melbourne,” he said. That will be the $1m Group 1 wfa Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2. “As with Invincible Gem, it’s likely I will also trial him before he goes to Melbourne,” Lees said.
Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion will trial for a second time this time in at Newcastle on Wednesday before Lees determines when to resume him. But while the news with Invincible Gem, Le Romain and Sense Of Occasion is all good, unfortunately recent stable acquisition Artlee has had a setback and won’t be seen during the spring.
Artlee suffered a colic attack as a result of a displaced colon and required emergency surgery. The inaugural 2015 Country Championships winner has come through the surgery well, but spring assignments are out of the question.
“It’s a matter of looking after him now, and we’ll get him back to racing later in the year,” Lees said. Artlee had won both recent trials on the Beaumont track and at Gosford, and was being prepared for a likely return at Randwick on Saturday week in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m).