Kris Lees is not conceding tomorrow’s Colin Stephen Quality at Rosehill Gardens to the two horses which beat him home in the Newcastle Gold Cup.
Five horses – including the three placegetters in last Friday’s 2300m Newcastle Cup – will contest the 2400m Group 3 Colin Stephen. Lees’s Admiral Jello finished third to Broadside and Auvray at home, and now meets them 3kg and 2kg better respectively.
“I think he’s got a good chance of turning the tables on that pair,” Lees said this morning. “I’m really pleased with how he has come through the Newcastle Cup.
“I hadn’t initially intended to back him up, but nominated him when I became aware there weren’t many entries. Admiral Jello has won over 2400m (at Royal Randwick), and deserves his chance at another Group 3 race.”
Admiral Jello (Corey Brown) rises 1kg to 55kg on the weight he carried in the Newcastle Cup, whereas winner Broadside goes up 4kg to 58kg and runner-up Auvray has 57kg, 3kg more than last week.
Lees’s five-year-old has started 20 times for four wins and 11 placings, and has never previously raced at Rosehill.
Lees has two runners tomorrow, and is also giving Danish Twist a strong chance in the $400,000 Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m).
Blake Shinn is a new rider for the mare, who was clearly unlucky not to have finished in the money when a first-up seventh to Ravi in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago.
Glyn Schofield rode her then, but Lees booked Shinn when the former wasn’t certain he could commit to riding her again tomorrow.
"Danish Twist is going well, and has won twice at 1400m,” Lees said. “I probably would have preferred for her to have drawn a bit closer in, as she is a mare who races best when she gets cover. Blake will have to deal with that. If she can get some luck this time, I’m in doubt she can figure in the finish.”
Euro Angel and Lubiton have been withdrawn from the fillies and mares’ feature, leaving 11 to run. Danish Twist jumps from barrier eight.
Lees has had a number of runners in the Golden Pendant, and won it in 2013 with $51 chance Sharnee Rose. He also started Empress Power (ninth) and Soapy Star (10th) that year. His last Golden Pendant runners were Fine Bubbles (fifth) and Gold Epona (11th) in Arabian Gold’s 2014 edition.
Lees also ran third with Covet Thee in 2004 when the race was known as the Research Stakes and run over 1200m. It was renamed the Golden Pendant in 2011, and the distance increased to 1400m the following year.