Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees is confident his recent successful country debutantes are ready for the next step to provincial company at Hawkesbury on Sunday.
Lees is sending Turnberry and Dreamy Belle – both impressive winners at Scone on September 22 – to Hawkesbury and has booked Glyn Schofield for the pair of three-year-olds. Turnberry, a son of Snitzel, runs in the Richmond Lions Club CG&E Class 1 Handicap (1400m), whilst Dreamy Belle, a daughter of Dream Ahead, tackles the Windsor-Hawkesbury South Lions Club Benchmark 62 Handicap (1000m).
“Both are nice three-year-olds, and I’m looking forward to testing them in provincial class,” Lees said this morning. “I’m sure they will run well in their respective races.”
Turnberry won a 1400m Maiden at Scone when opening his career after contesting five barrier trials (placed in four of them); two in the autumn and a further three since resuming work: “It has taken a while to get him to the races, but he did a good job at Scone and has trained on well since,” Lees said.
Turnberry raced in blinkers at Scone, and will wear them again on Sunday. Lees’s patience with Dreamy Belle, as with Turnberry, was also rewarded at Scone when she easily won a 3YO Maiden Plate (900m) on debut. He trialled the filly three times last season as a two-year-old without taking her to the races, then twice leading into her Scone assignment.
“Dreamy Belle was impressive at Scone and, whilst this obviously is a tougher test, she has the advantage of the inside barrier ans the minimum weight (54kg). Lees has four acceptors at Hawkesbury, but has indicated High Power (Wiseberry Thompsons Metro & Provincial Maiden Plate (1300m)) is likely to start instead on his home track tomorrow in a 1200m Maiden Plate.
English import Wallangarra (Tye Angland) has drawn nicely in the Richardson & Wrench Maiden Handicap (1600m), and is also an acceptor for tomorrow’s Port Macquarie meeting in a Class 1/Maiden Plate (1812m): “I’m still undecided where to run him, but will be suited whichever venue we go to,” Lees said.
Wallangarra caught the eye at his Australian debut when a strong-finishing third in a 1400m Maiden on his home track on September 16 at his first run in 12 months.
Last season’s Hawkesbury premiership winner Tye Angland has a solid book at the meeting. Apart from Wallangarra, he also rides Storm Master (against Turnberry), Lugard Road (1300m Metro & Provincial Maiden), Dynamic Bid (against Dreamy Belle), Good As Done (Pepe’s Duck Charity Maiden, 1000m), Soiree (Kaboodle Finance Class 1 Handicap, 1400m) and Itasca (Hawkesbury Race Club Motel Maiden Plate (2000m).
Four of them are for Hawkesbury trainers; Mitch Kearney prepares Storm Master, Karen Outtrim has Lugard Road, Good As Done is with Garry White and Scott Singleton prepares Itasca.
Blake Shinn, who last week beat a careless riding charge arising from the Golden Rose meeting at Rosehill Gardens on September 23, also has an attractive book. Whilst he misses the first two races, he has rides in the remaining six events – and many of them will be strongly fancied.
They include Poetic Charmer (1300m Metro & Provincial Maiden), Malaigo (1000m Benchmark 62), Meliboea (1000m Maiden Handicap), Krystal (1600m Maiden Handicap) and Our Belisa (1400m F&M Class 1 Handicap). Meliboea, Krystal and Our Belisa all are prepared at Randwick by John Thompson.
Hawkesbury this morning was rated a “Good 4”, with a penetrometer reading of 4.86. The rail is in the TRUE position for the entire circuit.
SELECTIONS RACE 1: EL DORADO MINE, Storm Master, Orokonui RACE 2: HUANG YAOSHI, Ardanza, Concessions RACE 3: POETIC CHARMER, Laussel, Cool One RACE 4: MALAIGO, Dynamic Bid, Dreamy Belle RACE 5: SEINE NET, Meliboea, Good As Done RACE 6: WALLANGARRA, Krystal, Antonio’s Pride RACE 7: OUR BELISA, Soiree, Persia RACE 8: ITASCA, Momentum To Win, Chayanne SPECIALS: HUANY YAOSHI, POETIC CHARMER, OUR BELISA