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  • John Curtis


MONDAY: May 3, 2021: KRIS Lees isn’t resting on his Hawkesbury laurels!

The leading Newcastle trainer was in the winner’s list at Hawkesbury’s stand-alone meeting last Saturday with promising imported stayer Luncies, and is seeking to add to that when the club backs up tomorrow with an eight-race midweek card.

Lees, currently running second with eight wins in the trainer’s premiership behind Mark Newnham (12), has only the one representative – and he is one of the more interesting runners on the day.

The lightly-raced I Am Invincible colt Kinloch (Jason Collett) resumes racing after a lengthy break, in the Elite Sand & Soil Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m), and without blinkers.

Kinloch, a $300,000 Karaka yearling sale purchase in New Zealand in 2019, could not have made a more impressive debut in April last year when he turned in an outstanding performance to win a 2YO Maiden (900m) on his home track, overcoming his outside barrier in a 12-horse field and overpowering rivals after being second last on settling.

He was then spelled after finishing fifth to Peltzer over 1200m at Royal Randwick on May 9, and has raced only once since.

The now three-year-old Kinloch was slow to begin from another wide draw and never got in the hunt, finishing last of 14 in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) on his home track on the second day of the Newcastle spring carnival last September.

Lees did not proceed with the colt’s campaign, immediately turning him out.

“Kinloch was immature in the bones, and needed more time,” Lees explained this morning.

“That’s why he has had such a long break.

“He has had two nice trials to prepare him for his resumption tomorrow, and is in good order.

“Naturally, he will take improvement from this race, but nonetheless I expect him to be very competitive.”

Kinloch’s last trial was over 950m on the Newcastle course proper (the rail was out 12m) on April 19, and he finished second to subsequent Warwick Farm midweek winner Strawb after taking an outright lead on straightening, and going under by less than a length, with the third placegetter more than three lengths astern. this morning had Kinloch a close $3.80 third favorite for tomorrow’s Benchmark 64, marginally behind Miracle Street ($3.60) and Raison D’Etre ($3.70).

Hawkesbury trainer Garry White has withdrawn dual acceptor High Academy from the Benchmark 64, and the mare instead will contest the Blakes Marine Class 1 Handicap (1300m), with Rachel King aboard.

Stablemate Winds Of War is a scratching, having raced in last Saturday’s Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).

. Jockey Tommy Berry missed the stand-alone meeting through a suspension incurred at Canterbury on April 21, and is ready to bounce back with a bang tomorrow.

He has six rides; four of them are current outright favorites and another a close second favorite.

Berry’s favorites are Poignant ($2, Windsor Rotary Maiden Plate, 1100m), Captivare ($2.15, Blacktown Workers Club Group Maiden Plate, 1800m), Rock The Bells ($3.50, Independent Liquor Group Class 1 & Maiden Plate, 1800m), and Sirens ($4.20, Blakes Marine Class 1 Handicap, 1300m).

He also partners $3 second favorite Kiterro in the Pink Finss Charity Maiden Handicap (1500m), and $71 roughie Dundee in the Lander Toyota Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).

Berry has ridden 10 Hawkesbury winners so far this season, and is only one behind joint leaders, last season’s winner Rachel King and Jason Collett, in the jockey’s premiership.

. Course manager Rick Johnston this morning reported a “Good 4” rating for tomorrow’s meeting. He has applied 2mm of irrigation in the last 24 hours, and the rail remains in the TRUE position.

. Paul Joice’s selections are:

RACE 1: BLINDING LIGHT, Brave Boy, My Belladonna.

RACE 2: IMPOSING BEAU, Poignant, Coal Crusher.

RACE 3: MADAM CHARM, Kiterro, Peekay’s Legacy.

RACE 4: QUIET MICHAEL, Captivare, Kahuka.

RACE 5: GOOD OMENS, Rock The Bells, Keen Contributer.

RACE 6: SPLENDIFEROUS, Capri Lane, Hidden Hills.

RACE 7: MIRACLE STREET, Time For Victory, Kinloch.

RACE 8: SIRENS, Smart Success, Sweeping Brook.


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