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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Dec 15, 2023

IT will be a much quieter weekend for Kris Lees after the fanfare of a first ever five metropolitan winners on the same day last Saturday.

After three at Royal Randwick (including the $2m The Ingham with Loch Eagle) and an Eagle Farm double (including the $300,000 The Gateway with Dream Hour), he has only three runners in two States tomorrow.

He has been left with Cacofonix as his sole Brisbane representative, whilst Rogue Bear and Orlabent will fly the stable flag at Randwick.

As well as Chilli Filly coming out of the Gold Edition at Eagle Farm, along with races at Canterbury tonight and Newcastle tomorrow with a veterinary certificate, Lees has also been forced to withdraw dual Civic and Winter Stakes winner Ucalledit from the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1400m) with a sore foot.

“Ucalledit hadn’t gone to Queensland, and he will be okay but isn’t ready to resume on Saturday,” he said.

“Cacofonix will be our only Eagle Farm runner, in the Class 3 Plate (1810m).

“He is racing well and whilst this is his first try beyond 1600m, his last run when he made good ground to finish fourth over 1615m at Doomben in similar grade suggests he will handle it.”

Dual acceptor Orlabent has been scratched from the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) at Randwick, and instead will contest the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m), and has drawn five in a field of 12, with stable apprentice Dylan Gibbons aboard.

Blinkers come off Orlabent, who has had two trials – the latest an 800m victory at Newcastle on November 30, beating stablemates Ella Te Ama and Kinloch - to prepare him for his resumption.

A Hellbent four-year-old, he has raced only eight times for three wins.

“Orlabent appears to be coming up nicely and, whilst he will take improvement from this race, I expect him to run well,” Lees said.

“Rogue Bear tackled 2000m for the first time in Australia when runner-up in the Taree Cup last month, and wasn’t beaten far.

“There’s no reason why he can’t run well again.”

Debutante Viaconi (Dylan Gibbons) and Oakfield Duke (Sam Clipperton) represent the stable at Canterbury tonight.

Nicconi three-year-old Viaconi tackles the Maiden Plate (1000m), whilst Oakfield Duke is having his first run for his new trainer in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m).

“Viaconi is a nice colt who has drawn well,” Lees said. “He has won three of her five trials and is ready to go to the races.

“I’ve taken the cross-over nose band and tongue tie off Oakfield Duke. He has had two trials for his resumption, and whilst he hasn’t won first-up previously, any rain would certainly enhance his chances.”

Story John Curtis, December 14, 2023 - Pic supplied


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