Newcastle coach Kris Lees could have four runners in Saturday’s $ 1million Hunter on his home track.
Home track coach Kris Lees could field up to four starters in The Hunter, at $ 1million on Saturday, as the Novocastrian look to do better in Newcastle’s richest race.
Lees coached the finalist of the last two editions of the Hunter with Tactical Advantage, finishing second to Savatiano in the first year, while Special Reward was just behind Sweet Deal last year.
The special award is set to return to the 1300m again on Saturday with his team mates Gem Song, Countofmontecristo and potentially Wandabaa all expected to be among the nominations
“I have to say Gem Song is the seed despite being an older horse, the first one, but we have been thinking about this race from the start because there weren’t a lot of options for him. “Lees said.
“With us on the track and he’s a winner on the track.
“Special Reward finished second last year and is doing better than his form suggests, while Countofmontecristo will likely be in the race.
“We will wait and see how Wandabaa recovers from Saturday’s race.”
Wandabaa narrowly missed the $ 500,000 Hot Danish Stakes standings, finishing fourth and 1-1 / 4 lengths behind winner Electric Girl.
TAB agrees with Lees’ assessment and has Gem Song as his best bet at $ 15 while his other three contenders are all listed as $ 51 underdogs.
The Lost And Running driven by John O’Shea is the favorite at $ 2.80 after finishing second to Eduardo in the Classic Legend Stakes on his last visit to the races.
The likes of Standout, Dawn Passage and potentially the new Australian import of Bloodstock Top Ranked are all set to line up.
Lees believes this will make the most difficult Hunter to win in the short history of racing.
“I think this year could be the course of the race for mine,” he said.
“He’s starting to find his place in the calendar.
The Hunter Card is supported by the $ 300,000 The Beauford (2300m) while the Group 3 NJC 3YO Spring Stakes (1600m) and Max Lees Classic (900m) are also held.
Originally posted as the main local trainer weighing in a four-pronged attack on The Hunter