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  • Provincial Racing NSW


QUEENSLAND Oaks winner Amokura will begin a new campaign at Royal Randwick on


The Group 1 heroine will launch her four-year-old season in the $250,000 Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) against her own sex, and leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ star apprentice Dylan Gibbons takes the mount.

Because the Angst is run at set weights plus penalties, Amokura will carry 59kg topweight.

Her victory in the $700,000 Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 3 earned her a 5kg penalty for Saturday’s race.

The daughter of dual Group 1 winner Kermadec, Amokura capped a meteoric rise by taking the Oaks, with Melbourne’s Damien Oliver aboard, at only her sixth start.

The three-year-old fillies’ classic was her third win in a row, having bolted home in a Newcastle Maiden Plate (1850m) on April 22 by nearly nine lengths before easily capturing a Class 1 Handicap (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast on May 21.

“Amokura enjoyed a nice break after the Oaks, and had two trials last month to prepare for her resumption,” Lees said this afternoon.

It is 10 years since Lees won the Angst with Sharnee Rose (Brenton Avdulla), who carried 56kg in 2013.

Sydney’s leading jockey James McDonald will be a new rider for Cleveland at The Everest meeting at Randwick.

Lees has confirmed McDonald’s booking for the $500,000 ATC St Leger Stakes (2600m) as he contemplates splittingtwo of his stayers.

“Cleveland will stay here, whilst Kalapour will also be an acceptor for the St Leger and the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday,” Lees said.

“We’ll make a decision after we see both fields tomorrow.”

The St Leger is also run at set weights plus penalties, and Cleveland has 55.5kg and Kalapour 2kg more, but 56kg in the $300,000 Group 2 Herbert Power (2400m).

The Lees pair ran third (Kalapour) and sixth (Cleveland) in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 30, when blinkers went on Cleveland for the first time.

“They will probably stay on him for the St Leger,” Lees said.

Inver Park also was entered for the Listed Weekend HusslerStakes (1400m) at the Caulfield meeting, but will run at Randwick in The Everest “consolation”, the $2m Group 3 Sydney Stakes (1200m) at weight-for-age.

He will be joined by stablemate Rustic Streel, inaugural winner of last year’s $2m The Big Dance (1600m) at Randwick.

“I would have preferred an easier race for Rustic Steel to start another campaign, but he’s up in that company now after winning both The Coast and Scone Cup last year along with The Big Dance,” Lees said.

Cameron Handicap placegetter Spangler missed a run in the $1.5m Alan Brown Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens las Saturday, and won’t be an acceptor for Saturday’s $5m Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Instead, he will trial over 1200m at Gosford in the morning.

*Words John Curtis, October 10, 2023 - Pic supplied*

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