Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Kris Lees’ progressive filly Invincible Gem was too good for the boys thanks to race fitness powering home for a clear Royal Randwick win in Monday’s Spring Stakes 2017.
Formerly raced at Lees’ home course at Newcastle, the $150,000 Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) hasn’t been a great race for fillies especially since the move to the Apollo Stakes Day card at Randwick.
Despite a wide draw in the three-year-olds’ race over a mile, Lees’ daughter of I Am Invincible jumped favourite and didn’t disappoint the punters.
Jockey Brenton Avdulla was aboard her for the first time since a fifth at Wyong in mid-December and was surprised by the ease in which she overcame the barrier and handled her first look at the distance.
“It was hard to measure up her form coming out of restricted races,” Avdulla said post-win.
“But she’s kept improving and I though her win was strong.
“The benefit today was her race fitness.
“The query was the mile….but I was always comfortable a long way from home.
“She booted away from them like a nice filly.”
Invincible Gem came off back-to-back January wins in Sydney and Lees opted to give her a chance at a stakes’ win after she beat home the older mares at Rosehill Gardens over 1350m.
It proved a winning move as Invincible Gem settled well throughout the run, Captain Duffy out deep moving into the early lead.
Bjorn Baker’s Geelong Classic winner set a strong pace up front with Royal Navy second on his inside and Avdulla just easing back slightly on Invincible Gem in third.
Mid-race Matthew Smith’s Not A Single Doubt filly, fifth last time out in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast, Faraway Town started to come through the centre looking to improve.
Soon after turning Invincible Gem ($3.70) joined Captain Duffy before drawing away with 200m left to travel and finish well clear of the runner-up Faraway Town ($8.50).
The lightly-raced James Cummings-trained Gauguin ($5.50) finished off the trifecta in third, before being relegated to fourth after a protest by roughie placing Salsonic ($51) and apprentice hoop Andrew Adkins was upheld.
The Spring Stakes results gave Lees back-to-back Group races on the Apollo Stakes Day card after the Southern Cross Stakes success of returning dual Group 1 winner Le Romain.
Even Lees admitted he was surprised by the dominant win by Invincible Gem who sat outside the lead before storming home in a stylish performance by a filly going places.
“Certainly she’s surprised me the level she’s gotten to this preparation,” he said.
“She’s a very plain looking little filly but she’s has just gone to a whole new level this preparation.
“She just thrived after the last win and I told connections we have just got to throw the stumps at a stakes race with her.
“She probably should be going for a break but it’s hard to spell a filly when they’re going like that.”
Stay tuned for the next-up options for Invincible Gem who can be had next race at the best autumn racing odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Spring Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 6 – 13/02/2017
|1||13||INVINCIBLE GEM||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||–||9||54.5kg||$3.80F|
|2||12||FARAWAY TOWN||Matthew Smith||Tim Clark||3.8L||5||54.5kg||$7.50|
|3||10||SALSONIC||Jason Coyle||Andrew Adkins (a)||4.2L||4||56.5kg||$41|
|4||7||GAUGUIN (NZ)||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||4.1L||2||56.5kg||$5.50|
|5||3||FIRST APPROVAL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tye Angland||6.6L||1||56.5kg||$4.80|
|6||9||NEPEAN||James Cummings||Joshua Parr||7.3L||7||56.5kg||$26|
|7||5||RIGHTEOUS MATE (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Tommy Berry||8.7L||3||56.5kg||$17|
|8||4||ROYAL NAVY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Corey Brown||10.1L||8||56.5kg||$5|
|9||1||CAPTAIN DUFFY||Bjorn Baker||Hugh Bowman||10.7L||10||56.5kg||$12|
|10||8||THE GRANDSON (NZ)||John P Thompson||Jason Collett||12.7L||6||56.5kg||$31|
|–||6||ALL IN RHYTHM||Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti||Peter Wells||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||HENRY THE CREATETH||Michael Freedman||James Doyle||–||0||–||–|
|–||11||SEZANNE||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||–||0||–||–|
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