Talented three-year-old Gem Song will back up at Royal Randwick on Saturday in search of a Caulfield Guineas berth next month. Satisfied with the Your Song colt’s progress since his Rosehill Guineas success last Saturday after overcoming difficulties, Kris Lees this morning confirmed him as a certain starter to step up in distance in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m).
Jason Collett partnered Gem Song in his Benchmark 72 Handicap (1500m) against his own age at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, when he weaved between runners in the straight to snatch victory under his 59.5kg topweight.
“He has come through that race really well, and I’ve got no qualms about backing him up,” Lees said.
“Gem Song is heading in the right direction and I’m keen to give him his chance in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m on October 13) if he races up to expectations on Saturday.”
Whilst Lees won’t have a runner in either the Group 1 Epsom (1600m) or Metropolitan (2400m) at Saturday’s major fixture, he won’t be short on chances in other races.
He is relying on pre-post favorite Miss Fabulass (Kerrin McEvoy, $2.25 favourite on TAB fixed odds) in the $500,000 Flight Stakes (1600m). The Frankel filly, striving to emulate her dam Samantha Miss’ 2008 Flight success, has drawn perfectly at barrier three in a field of 13.
Lees will have a two-pronged attack on the $500,000 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m), billed as a mini The Everest. He has decided to resume smart mare Invincible Gem (Brenton Avdulla) in the Premiere along with his The Everest candidate In Her Time (Corey Brown).
Invincible Gem spelled in Queensland after the winter carnival, having not raced since finishing seventh to Prompt Response in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on June 23.
“She did tremendously well during her break, and has had two recent trials to get her ready for the Premiere,” Lees said. “Our target with her is the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 3.”
Including In Her Time, six of the confirmed The Everest contenders will run in the Premiere – a true dress rehearsal for the $13m feature at Randwick on October 13, and also run over the same course and identical weight-for-age conditions. Lees also resumes another smart mare Just Dreaming in Saturday’s Benchmark 88 Handicap (1200m), and has booked apprentice Sam Weatherley to lessen her 60.5kg.
Lees meanwhile is marking time with Le Romain and Graff, both of them still in the mix to clinch the last remaining spot for The Everest. He decided not to proceed to Saturday’s Epsom with Le Romain, and says Graff has come through his excellent third to The Autumn Sun in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday without any problems.
Highly promising Frankel filly Frankely Awesome steps up to Group 1 company in Saturday week’s $500,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, but Lees is yet to confirm a rider for her: “I’m waiting to see which jockeys are staying in Sydney rather than going to Melbourne,” he said.
Frankely Awesome, successful in a 1300m Maiden at Newcastle on September 4 on debut again in a 1600m Class 2 Handicap (1600m) at Scone last Friday, takes a quantum leap to Group 1 company but her trainer is keen to test her staying potential as a guide to a 2500m Oaks start at Flemington on November 8.