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  • Provincial Racing NSW


KRIS Lees isn’t concerned about The Coast favorite Tavi Time being troubled by the tight Gosford circuit on Saturday.

“He’s won at Canterbury, Taree and Mudgee,” the leading Newcastle trainer pointed out on Thursday morning.

“If he can win at Canterbury, there’s no reason why he can’t handle Gosford.

“Obviously where he gets to in the run will be important, but I’m happy with him and he’s ready for Saturday.

“The 1600m is definitely going to suit better, and I’m sure getting to 2000m will also be to his advantage.”

Tavi Time has been ticking over nicely since finishing fifth to Territory Express in the $1m Provincial-Midway Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 13 when, with 59kg, he carried at least 1.5kg more than any other runner and came from 14th at the 400m.

Whilst Tavi Time hasn’t raced at Gosford, he trialled there last October, with race jockey Dylan Gibbons aboard, and wasn’t pushed out when narrowly beaten in a 1000m heat.

The talented four-year-old, who has won six of his 11 starts, headed betting on Thursday morning at $3.30 with as his trainer chases the $500,000 feature for a second time.

This will be the fourth running of Gosford’s richest race, and Lees was successful in 2022 with Rustic Steel (Jay Ford).

Tavi Time’s only start on a heavy track was at his debut at Kembla Grange when previously trained there.

Though he was unplaced in a 1200m 2YO Handicap (1200m), he was beaten only one and a quarter lengths after drawing awkwardly and settling a clear last before finishing strongly.

Victorian visitors Magnaspin (Tom Sherry) and Golden Path (Chad Schofield) will have gear changes for their Coast assignments.

Winkers come off Magnaspin ($17), whereas blinkers go on Golden Path ($12).

Golden Path’s co-trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr were disappointed with the gelding’s latest eighth in the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo on April 13 when favorite, but his work in the new gear earlier in the week convinced them to have a crack at The Coast.

Tavi Time has won three from five starts on soft ground, and may be Lees’ sole representative at the metropolitan meeting.

Stablemates Kind Words (3&4YO Benchmark 72 Handicap, 1600m and The Coast) and Powerful Peg (Listed Takeover Target Stakes, 1200m) are heading north for the corresponding Sunshine Coast fixture.

Lees’ $1m plus earner Special Reward (Aaron Bullock) is scheduled to make a comeback in the Takeover Target, but is unsure he will run him from the outside barrier.

The now eight-year-old gelding, who has been off the scene since August 2022 when fifth in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick, has won 10 of his 33 starts.

“Special Reward had a niggling issue and we gave him an extended break,” Lees said. “He has won both his recent trials on the Beaumont track (800m) and Scone (1000m), and is always a very competitive horse.”

Lees also accepted with Thundering Soul (Gibbons) in the 2YO Handicap (1200m), but has held off declaring him a certain starter with the Gosford track certain to be heavy.

Kind Words (Ryan Maloney) and Pier Pressure (Andrew Mallyon) both will line up in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast.

“Pier Pressure ran well when fourth in the Princess Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm last start, and will definitely start even though she has drawn near the outside,” Lees said.

“Kind Words is better drawn and wasn’t far away when fifth in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 6.

“Both fillies will continue toward the Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm next month if they perform well at the weekend.”

Luncies (James McDonald) resumes in the $500,000 Group 2 wfa Hollindale Stakes (1800m), and Powerful Peg (Jim Byrne) tackles the Listed Silk Stocking (1400m) against her own sex.

“Luncies raced well in Brisbane last winter, including a fourth at weight-for-age to Caulfield-Melbourne Cups winner Without A Fight in the Q22 (2200m) at Eagle Farm,” Lees said.

“Powerful Peg’s last run with a big weight at Rosehill Gardens was good, and she isn’t without a chance dropping down to 53kg.”

Story John Curtis, May 9, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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