Kris Lees has taken the “softer option” with smart youngster Sasso Corbaro to hopefully make it third time lucky at home tomorrow.
Lees pulled the pin on a start at Canterbury today with the All Too Hard filly in favour of the 2YO Maiden Plate (1150m) on the Beaumont track at the final local meeting of the season.
Corey Brown, who was booked for Sasso Corbaro in the 2YO Maiden Handicap (1200m) at Canterbury, has the mount tomorrow.
Sasso Corbaro, a member of the China Horse Club Racing team, has been narrowly beaten at both Sydney starts and, not surprisingly, is odds-on favorite to post her first success.
“Even though there are only seven runners in the Canterbury race, it looked stronger than the Beaumont race,” Lees said.
“Sasso Corbaro has trained on well and definitely gets her chance to break through.” Initially with Michael Freedman before he relocated to Hong Kong, Sasso Corbaro trialled twice for her new trainer, including an 800m Gosford win on June 6, before making her debut at Canterbury on June 21.
She was edged out by Manicure in a 2YO Maiden Plate (1100m) against her own sex, then was pipped on the post by Tennessee Tango in a 1200m Maiden – also against her own sex – there on July 5.
Sasso Corbaro has only five rivals tomorrow, with the scratching of Flying Magic reducing the field to six.
Lees, nearing the end of a record-breaking season (157 winners prior to today’s Canterbury meeting and nearly $9m in prizemoney), has four acceptors at his home meeting, switched from the course proper to the inner Beaumont track.
However, Sasso Corbaro may be his only representative.
He has already withdrawn Eastern Paradise from the Class 1 Handicap (1350m), and is undecided about starts for Not Surprising (Class 1 Handicap, 1150m) and Fleeteor (Benchmark 70 Handicap, 1350m).
“I’ll decide later today; both are 50/50 about running,” Lees said.
Andrew Gibbons is booked for three-year-old filly Not Surprising, who broke through at her fourth start over 1000m at Taree on June 2 before being freshened.
She won a 1000m trial on the Beaumont track on July 18.
Fleeteor, successful at three of her 12 starts to date, hasn’t raced since finishing fourth to Speed Hero in a Benchmark 67 Handicap (1580m) at Canterbury on May 24.
She has trialled twice – at Gosford (800m) on June 21 and Wyong (1000m) on July 5 – in preparation for her turn.
Lees has booked apprentice Brock Ryan to offset her 60.5kg topweight by 2kg, but she has drawn awkwardly (11) in a field of 14.
Amongst his 157 winners this season is 18 at Broadmeadow (eight on the Beaumont track and 10 on the course proper) – along with 28 placings – from 106 starters.
He has already clinched the Cessnock trainers’ premiership.
Lees has five acceptors (Let’s Get Nauti Gal, Reach For Heaven, Rustic Melody, Wahng Wah and former New Zealander Parker’s Piece) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Hugh Bowman, engaged in an enthralling contest with Brenton Avdulla for Sydney premiership honors, rides three of them – Parker’s Piece, Reach For Heaven and Rustic Melody.