Next NSW Race

Latest News

Lees Backs Hunter As A Major Boost For Newcastle

By Ray Hickson

Champion trainer Kris Lees says he hopes the Newcastle area embraces Saturday’s inaugural $1 million Pages Event Hire Hunter and the feature metropolitan status the meeting brings with it.

It’s been 19 years since the last time the racing focus was on Newcastle on a Saturday, made necessary by the Sydney Olympics, and on that occasion the Newcastle Cup was run.

Trainer Kris Lees (pic: Steve Hart)

Lees is a strong supporter the new meeting, which also includes the Group 3 Spring Stakes and the Max Lees Classic, and will have between two and five runners in The Hunter (1300m).

“I never thought we'd get a stand alone Saturday, we've got a stand alone Saturday and a race worth a million dollars,’’ Lees said.

“I think it will be well received. It's terrific for racing in general and especially for our area.

“And I'm sure whatever happens this Saturday it will be improved on again going forward.’’

Classy four-year-old Graff and multiple Group 1 winner Le Romain will head the Lees assault on The Hunter and he’s also entered Miss Fabulass, Invincible Gem and Tactical Advantage.

Graff hasn’t raced since he contested the three lead-ups to The Everest – the Concorde, The Shorts and the Premiere Stakes – and showed he’d freshened up well with a trial win at home last week.

And The Hunter came onto the radar for Le Romain after two below par runs in August, the seven-year-old proved he was on track running third in the Redzel Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on November 2.

“You look at any feature race if you've got the right horse regardless of where it is,’’ Lees said.

“Timing wise it is suiting a couple of horses for various reasons. Le Romain we backed off because I wasn't happy with his first couple of runs and he returned in good order the other day.

“It was similar with Graff, we backed off and reset for this race. It suits well where they are at in their preparations.’’

Among the 26 nominations for the Hunter are local gallopers Bon Amis (Jason Deamer) and Jonker (David Atkins), Godolphin has entered Home Of The Brave, Savatiano and Manicure, inaugural Kosciuszko winner Belflyer is there and Provincial Championships winner Bobbing while Chris Waller has Fiesta aimed at the race.

What youngsters Lees sends to the Max Lees Classic (900m) will be determined after he assesses how a few triallers pull up from going around on Monday.

They are Redoute’s Image, a filly from the Typhoon Tracy family, who won a Newcastle trial on Monday with stablemate Chianti fourth and two more fillies in Zeftabrook and Meydan Lass who ran one-two in the following 800m trial.

Meanwhile, Lees said In Her Time has come through her third placing in the Darley Classic on Saturday in good shape and will head to Hong Kong if she receives an invitation.

The Hunter is the first of two feature spring race days held in provincial areas to be followed by the inaugural $1 million The Gong (1600m) at Kembla Grange on November 23.

Check out the nominations, form and replays for The Hunter race day at Newcastle

The Latest Racing News

Jason Collett Not Riding At Canterbury (Replacements)

Please note Jason Collett injured his foot at trackwork this morning and as such, will not be riding at the ...
Read More

Newcastle Winners - Tips For The Hunter Day

By Brad Gray Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for The Hunter Day at Newcastle. The rail ...
Read More

Graff Considered Lees Stable's "Best Chance" In Newcastle's The Hunter

By Gary Harley The history-making $1 million Pages Event Hire Hunter (1300m) has attracted a cracking field of sprinters to ...
Read More

World's Springboard To Autumn Group 1 Rule

By Ray Hickson There’ll be little doubt in co-trainer Adrian Bott’s mind unbeaten three-year-old Rule The World will deserve a ...
Read More

Canterbury Winners - Tips For Friday 15th November

By Ray Hickson Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury. Selections based ...
Read More
Racing NSW Apps
Mobile Version
Industry Links