top of page
  • Provincial Racing NSW


AS Kris Lees nears a century of winners for the eighth consecutive season, he will break new ground with his first Albury runner tomorrow.

The leading Newcastle trainer has opted to send dual venue acceptor Blackcomb there for the $200,000 Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m), and Blaike McDougall takes the mount.

The much-travelled mare, who has raced in four States and won in three of them, also was an acceptor for the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, but drew off the track.

“Blackcomb is being floated to Albury today; it’s a good opportunity for her to get some black type,” Lees said.

“Whilst she was unplaced at her last start in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Randwick a fortnight ago, it was a hidden run.

“Blackcomb has won up to 1830m, and I feel she has at least a place chance.”

With 98 winners on the board so far this season, Lees is also eyeing an even more important Cup if his recent Canberra Cup winner Almania performs well at Rosehill on Saturday.

Apprentice Dylan Gibbons, who turned in a brilliant ride to get Almania home at Canberra over 2000m on March 10, again rides the imported stayer as he steps up to 2400m in the Group 3 Manion Cup.

“Almania has had his injury problems in the past, but is coping well this preparation and is very fit,” Lees said.

“We have the option to go to the Sydney Cup if he races well again on Saturday.”

The $2m Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m), which Lees won with County Tyrone (Jim Cassidy) in 2006, will be run at Randwick on April 13 on Day 2 of The Championships.

Gibbons also partners Loch Eagle for Lees in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Saturday.

“He probably looks outgraded at weight-for-age, but this will top him off nicely for the Doncaster Mile,” Lees said.

“Loch Eagle has come on well since his sixth to Rustic Steel in the Group 3 Newcastle Stakes (1400m) at home on March 8 when first-up after a break.”

Loch Eagle earned a “free ticket” into the $4m Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 6 by winning the $2m The Ingham (1600m) at Randwick in December.

With Blackcomb bypassing the Epona, Lees will rely on Yankee Hussel (Sam Clipperton).

“Nothing much went right for her in the Aspiration when she was slowly away, yet was just over three lengths from the winner at the finish,” Lees said.

“She had put three wins in a row before that at Gosford, Canterbury and Rosehill before a freshen and tick-over trial.”

. Provincial-Midway Championships favorite Tavi Time won’t start again until the $1m Final (1400m) at Randwick on April 13.

“Tavi Time pulled up well after his second to Whinchat in a Benchmark 88 Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday,” Lees said.

“He ran well given the circumstances of the race, and there is no need to trial him either leading into the Final.”

Story John Curtis, March 21, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page