The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After an Australian race career plagued by injury setbacks, the Kris Lees-trained French import Singing finally looks on track for a possible 2017 Summer Cup run on Boxing Day in Sydney.
The Newcastle-based Lees pulled off a mighty training effort to get Singspiel eight-year-old Singing back to his best after the entire has suffered a string of injuries since arriving down under a couple of years ago.
Singing was tested against the best during this year’s autumn carnival including a ninth as a $201 roughie finishing 20 lengths off the world’s best Winx in the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in April.
Finally Singing broke his maiden status in Australia last Saturday at Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane saluting in a Class 6 over 2000m.
Lees said the stayer had come through the confidence-boosting win in good order and could next head to Royal Randwick on December 26 for a shot at the Group 3 $150,000 Summer Cup (2000m).
The other option would be to race on in Queensland targeting the Shoot Out Quality (2200m) back at Doomben on December 30, with Lees’ decision to be guided on where the rain-affected tracks were.
“Singing pulled up well, and I’ve brought him home,” Lees told Racing NSW.
“We’ve got a couple of options with him.
“Weather obviously will have the final say because Singing appreciates wet tracks.
“But he could run in either the Summer Cup at Randwick on Boxing Day or go back to Queensland for the Shoot Out Quality at Doomben on December 30.”
This weekend at Royal Randwick on Villiers Stakes Day Lees has six runners including his sprinting mare Zestful ($14) in the Listed $125,000 Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m).
At the same meeting 12 months ago Lees scored the upset win in the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) with Sense Of Occasion ($21).
Sense Of Occasion went on to run second in this January’s Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) before two Randwick Group 1 thirds in the autumn behind It’s Somewhat in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The galloper also enjoyed his own elite level success during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival taking out the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on a Heavy (8) track from barrier 15 of 15.
Another standout from the Lees’ contingent on Saturday in Sydney is the progressive four-year-old Sugar Bella racing against her own kind in the $100,000 Catanach’s Handicap (1200m).
Getting in on the 53kg minimum, the daughter of Not A Single Doubt is the $3.90 favourite in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au after a first-up win at Canterbury by three lengths at the start of the month in her debut for the Lees’ stable.
“It’s a decent rise in class to a Saturday race in town, but Sugar Bella has a handy weight drop (4.5kg) to help counter that,” Lees said.
“She is promising and has trained on strongly since the Canterbury race. I’d say she is probably the pick of my Randwick runners.”
To get behind your favourite horses this summer racing season visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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