By Ray Hickson
Trainers Jim and Greg Lee are going back to basics with Lightz at Canterbury on Wednesday after six starts against some of the best youngsters in training.
It’s a long way down to a Canterbury maiden when you’ve chased the likes of She Will Reign, Menari, Gunnison, Veranillo and Champagne Cuddles but Greg Lee said it’s time to start again and work his way up.
“We’re putting him back through his classes,’’ Lee said.
“He’s a very late foal, he’s not three until November, so he’s a few months behind them and that makes a big difference.
“You’ll find that he will come good.’’
Lightz is one of those rare racehorses that is by a Golden Slipper winner (Sepoy) and out of a Golden Slipper winner (Polar Success).
It’s a lot to live up to but the gelding has always shown the Lee brothers the talent to warrant testing him in some of the best two-year-old races in Sydney last season.
“The Slipper comes up early so you have to run and see if they are any good,’’ he said.
“When he started off he was still basically a yearling trying to match up with them.
“As he’s got older he’s got stronger and these late foals don’t catch up until they are a late three-year-old.’’
The All Too Hard@Vinery Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury on Wednesday is a far cry from Lightz’s first-up assignment in the Listed Rosebud at Rosehill on August 12.
He finished eighth, eight lengths behind Menari, but Lee said he has to be forgiving after the horse had a torrid run through the race, particularly from the 600m to the 200m.
“He got knocked around a bit too much and he gave up after that,’’ he said.
“When he got in behind them he didn’t cop one or two he copped three or four and that was the end of him.’’
Lightz is among the nominations for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose (1400m) next month, it’s not completely off the table but Lee would like to get the maiden win out of the way.
In-form jockey Blake Shinn has his first race ride on Lightz at Canterbury where Lee is expecting the gelding to fire.
“He’ll be just behind the speed. He came through the run with no problems,’’ he said.
“Blake is a great jockey and he knows the horse, he rode him in the trial (before the Rosebud). When you’ve got the good jockeys on you just let them worry about it.’’