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KRIS Lees is anticipating a couple of factors providing lightly-raced filly Kind Words an opportunity to show her worth at Royal Randwick on Saturday.  

Though she has finished ninth at both runs this preparation over shorter trips, the leading Newcastle trainer is growing in confidence with an increase in distance and the likelihood of very wet ground.

Regan Bayliss rides Kind Words in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes, and Lees considers the 2000m will really suit her.

“I’m sure she is looking for this extra trip,” he said this morning.

“And she is a heavy track winner at her only start on that type of ground.”

Kind Words beat her own sex in a 1400m Maiden Plate at Hawkesbury on a “Heavy 8” surface on November 9 at only her fifth start.

She then showed her versatility nine days later by running second to another filly Genzano in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on a “Good 4” track.

Kind Words comes off her latest ninth to Queen Of Dragons in the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) on March 15.

She began awkwardly and became unbalanced after bumping with another runner near the 400m.

A $280,000 Inglis Australian Easter yearling purchase in 2022, Kind Words races in the same colours for New Zealand owner Lib Petagna as stunning 2016 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina.

Kind Words is currently a $10 chance with, and $51 for Saturday week’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on Day 2 of The Championships.

She is one of four provincial-trained fillies in the Adrian Knox. Hawkesbury trainers Brad Widdup and Ed Cummings have Noble Tess (Ron Stewart) and Hippy Dreams (Michael Dee) respectively, and Kembla Grange’s Kerry Parker will be represented by Bush Girl (Jay Ford), who races in blinkers for the first time..

Lees has six runners at Saturday’s meeting, including Rustic Steel (Tom Sherry) and Loch Eagle (Dylan Gibbons) in the $4m Group 1 Doncaster Mile.

Sherry has RacingNSW stewards’ permission to ride Rustic Steel 0.5kg over if he cannot make the gelding’s 52.5kg, and Gibbons also has permission to declare 1kg over on Loch Eagle, who has 51kg.

“Both Rustic Steel and Loch Eagle handle wet ground, so the expected rain will give them sneaky chances in such a tough race,” Lees said.

Lees is having a ”throw at the stumps” because of the forecast heavy rain with accomplished wet tracker Willinga Beast (Gibbons) in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).

“If she can run a place it will add to her value, so it’s worth a try,” Lees said.

“She has already qualified for the Provincial-Midway Final (1400m), and will back up on Saturday week.”

Last start Randwick winner Infancy (Gibbons) lines up in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200n) and whilst she has never raced on a heavy track, her trainer says she is bred to handle it.

“Infancy’s wide draw might not be a disadvantage either if the track is wet,” Lees said.

Melbourne’s Craig Williams will ride Yankee Hussel in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m), but she will need to perform well for connections to press ahead to Saturday week’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).

Yankee Hussel has won at 2400m in Benchmark company and two of her four victories have been on soft ground, but not on heavy.

. Lees has both Acquitted (Aaron Bullock) and Kinloch (Dylan Gibbons) in tomorrow’s “Big Dance Eligibility” Muswellbrook Gold Cup (1500m).

Both horses have won on heavy ground, with Acquitted successful at three of his four starts on that surface.

Muswellbrook was rated a “Heavy 8” on Thursday morning.

Story John Curtis, April 4, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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