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Crowley Shaping As Tenor's Acid Test

The Tenor steps up to black type company at Royal Randwick on Saturday for an assignment his trainer says will tell him 'where the colt is at'.

Having only his fourth start, the lightly-raced three-year-old takes on his own age in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m).

Trainer Kris Lees (Pic: Bradley Photos).

“The Tenor is jumping a few grades,” Lees conceded.

“But I regard him as a promising colt. We’ll know where we are at with him after this race.”

The Tenor is raced by long-standing Lees Racing supporters, Queensland couple Ron and Judi Wanless and has won two of his three starts – both at the provincials.

At his only city essay he ran an encouraging third to Plague Stone and Witherspoon in the Rosebud Prelude (1000m) at Randwick on July 21.

That followed an easy 900m debut victory in a 2YO Maiden on his home track 11 days earlier.

The Tenor trialled twice in September and then was never troubled in easily defeating six rivals in a Class 2 Handicap (1000m) at Gosford on October 4 when beginning his three-year-old term.

Tommy Berry partners the Your Song colt on Saturday, and he has drawn barrier seven in a field of 11.

Lees also runs Articus and Karavali, who are resuming in the Benchmark 88 Handicap (1400m). He has booked 2kg claimers Sam Weatherley and Jean Van Overmeire respectively to lessen their big weights.

Articus will carry 59kg, and Karavali 1kg less.

“Both horses don’t mind wet ground and are capable of running cheeky races,” Lees said.

“Especially Karavali, who races well at Randwick and is a Group 3 winner there over 1600m.”

Whilst Youngstar is one of the top chances in Saturday’s $5m Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Lees’ mare So You Merge will be attempting to win a $35,000 race on her home track the same day.

The pair last met at Newcastle just under six months ago (April 28) when So You Merge gave Youngstar 1kg and finished second (beaten just over three lengths) in a Benchmark 68 Handicap (1885m) on soft ground.

So You Think five-year-old So You Merge (out of Adelaide Cup winner Demerger) has raced twice this preparation, finishing sixth to Our Winnie in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1865) on September 29 at her latest appearance.

Lees starts both So You Merge (Darryl McLellan) and unbeaten Fuji Fury (Andrew Gibbons) in the Benchmark 64 Handicap (1880m).

“So You Merge is back slightly in class and fitter for those two runs,” he said.

“Fuji Fury has the more upside but has to overcome the outside draw (10) with the rail 7m out.”

Fuji Fury makes it two from two at Coffs Harbour on October 2

Overcoming outside draws hasn’t been a problem so far for Fuji Fury, a three-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice.

He drew 10 out of 10 when successful on debut in a Taree Maiden (1400m) on September 16, then 12 out of 12 when he carried 57.5kg and strode clear to easily land a Coffs Harbour Class 1/Maiden Plate (1600m) on October 2.

Stable apprentice Louise Day will partner Cordoned, Lees’ other Newcastle representative, in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m).

“Cordoned hasn’t drawn well either, but we’ll ride him conservatively and see if he can get over the top of them,” Lees said.

“Any further rain would certainly enhance his prospects.”

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's meeting at Royal Randwick

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