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  • Provincial Racing NSW


KRIS Lees has “discovered” another suitable race for prolific winner Brudenell, who continues his successful Victorian sojourn at Yarra Valley today.

Having already earned just over $124,000 from two southern appearances, Brudenell gets the chance to collect a further $275,000 for his connections in the $500,000 Country Discovery (1200m).

This will be the third running of the annual Good Friday feature, which rotates amongst Victorian country clubs, and was previously held at Sale and Geelong.

Brudenell again will be ridden by Mark Zahra, and has drawn the rails alley in a field of 12 along with dropping 1.5kg on his latest Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1200m) victory at Caulfield a fortnight ago.

“The nominations were pretty strong (headed by Group 1 winner Attrition, who was given 61kg and didn’t accept), so that helped Brudenell come down a bit in weight,” leading Newcastle trainer Lees said on Thursday morning.

“He has continued to do well in Melbourne, and is in good order so there’s no reason why he should not run very well again.”

Four-year-old Brudenell knows plenty about winning. He has done so at nine of his 17 starts and followed up a close fifth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 24 by taking the Bel Esprit there.

Lees has six acceptors at Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens meeting, but Powerful Peg (who drew poorly in the Benchmark 88 Handicap, 1400m) will be kept for a Warwick Farm assignment at the Easter Monday fixture.

He will run Razeta (Jason Collett) in the Rosehill race, but was hoping for rain to improve her prospects.

Lees’ other Rosehill runners are Miss Busslinger (Group 3 Baillieu Handicap, 1400m), Kalapour (Group 1 Tancred Stakes, 2400m), and Rustic Steel and Ucalledit (Group 3 Doncaster Prelude, 1500m).

“Miss Busslinger keeps improving and ran well when fourth in the Resiling Stakes (1200m) against her own sex at Randwick three weeks ago,” Lees said.

“She goes up against the males now, but the 1400m looks as though it will suit her.

“It doesn’t look to be the strongest Tancred Stakes and Kalapour deserves his chance after chasing home Lindermann in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago.

“I’m not sure we will continue on to the Sydney Cup at Randwick next month as that was only his second run this campaign, and doubt he has had the grounding for the 3200m.

“Rustic Steel was terrific in leading throughout in the Group 3 Newcastle Stakes (1400m) at home earlier in the month, and has trained on well.

“He has never won at Rosehill, but to be fair has raced only twice there and was placed in the Group 3 Festival Stakes last December.

“Ucalledit chased hard when fourth to Rustic Steel in the Newcastle Stakes, and is fitter, that being his third run back from a break.”


Lees accepted with three horses for Saturday’s Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier (1350m) at Wyong, but is likely to run only Dream Hour (Jeff Penza) and Cacofonix (Christian Reith), and save Willinga Freefall for Wednesday’s Wild Card (1400m) at home.

Dream Hour started favorite when fourth to Short Shorts in the Hawkesbury Qualifier (1400m) on March 9, whilst Cacofonix resumed and got well back when 12th in Shadows Of Love’s Gosford Qualifier (1200m) a week later.

“Dream Hour is the better performed of the pair, and also the better drawn of the pair,” Lees said.

Story John Curtis, March 29 - Pics supplied

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