By Ray Hickson
Unbeaten mare Serene Miss will book herself an autumn carnival campaign if she can make it four from four at Canterbury on Friday night.
Trainer Kris Lees said the four-year-old has impressed him since her second-up win at the last night meeting and sees no reason why she won’t fire in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1250m).
“She’s trained on well, she hasn’t shown any signs of going backwards in her work,’’ Lees said.
“I don’t know how much further we will go for the preparation but it looks a good option for her.
“She looks capable of measuring up to better company and we’ll probably put her away for the autumn.’’
Lees has booked leading apprentice Rachel King to take 1.5kg off Serene Miss, a $525,000 purchase as a yearling, and she’ll only carry 1kg more than her last win.
Serene Miss makes it three from three at Canterbury – November 17
“She’s starting to get up in weight, that’s why we put Rachel on, but she has a soft gate that will help,’’ Lees said.
“I’d like to see a bit of rain to take the edge off the track would be ideal for her.’’
It’s been a long time away from the track for Sugar Bella who has her first run for Lees in the Tab.com.au Handicap (1100m) on Friday night.
Formerly with Danny Williams, the mare was an impressive winner at her first two starts at Goulburn before finishing midfield at Rosehill on July 30, 2016.
It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing for Sugar Bella, who has trialled three times ahead of her return with a month between hitouts due to Lees not being happy with her blood post her October 23 trial.
“She’s trialled up well since and is a nice mare,’’ he said.
“Probably she will be better suited over further but coming off a long break it’s a race where she could sprint well fresh.’’
And at Rosehill on Saturday Lees's rejuvenated stayer Doukhan is aiming to make it three straight in the Tab.com.au Handicap (2400m).
The nine-year-old won his first race in well over two years when he scored at Randwick on November 7 then backed it up outstaying his rivals over 2700m at Canterbury 15 days later.
Apprentice Jean Van Overmeire has been on board on both occasions and Doukhan will drop to 57kg after his claim.
“He’s holding his form at home and seems in good order,’’ Lees said.
“When you do a tendon twice you start to question whether it is worth the while but they have been persistent and are getting a few rewards now.’’