Kris Lees has won the Flight Stakes once and “should have won it twice” so he’s hoping Wolverine can set the record straight at Randwick on Saturday.
The Novocastrian won the feature fillies’ Group 1 in 2008 when his star galloper Samantha Miss toyed with her opponents, but the trainer still hasn’t moved on from his hardluck story in 2018 when Miss Fabulass, a daughter of Samantha Miss, finished the unluckiest of fourths.
“That wasn’t our day, that’s for sure,” Lees said.
“Never on the track, faced the breeze the whole way and beaten less than a neck.
“It was a tough won to take.”
This year the Australian Bloodstock filly Wolverine is the horse Lees is banking on giving him his second success in the hugely important feature race for the three-year-old fillies.
The daughter of Tivaci, the sire of last year’s Flight Stakes winner Never Been Kissed, was identified by Australian Bloodstock principals Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell off a barrier trial and debut win at Otaki in November last year.
“We bought into her at the right time,” Lovett said.
“The first race she won for us was a Group 2, so she’s been good to us.
“She’s already done her job but if she can win on Saturday, she takes it to a whole new level.
“She’s the biggest success story we’ve bought out of New Zealand.”
Since arriving in Australia Wolverine’s sights have been set on the Flight Stakes.
She was an eye-catching sixth in her Aussie debut in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes before another strong finishing effort to place third in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes a fortnight ago.
— Australian Turf Club (@aus_turf_club) September 17, 2022
“This might be the filly to give me another win in the race,” Lees said.
“She’s a nice filly that’s done everything right since she’s come to me and she goes into Saturday having had the right foundation.
“It’s a competitive little race but she gives the impression she’s looking for this trip and she’s got the right form references.”
Lees said the barrier draw for Saturday’s $750,000 set weights event has been kind after Wolverine was handed the visitors draw in her first two Sydney starts.
There are 10 runners in the Flight Stakes and Wolverine will start from barrier one under Jason Collett who’s chasing his first Group 1 success since Startantes won the Tattersall’s Tiara in Queensland back in June.
“The soft gate will allow us to look to hold a position rather than being dragged out the back, so I see that as a positive,” Lees said.
“She’s improved in her appearance with each run and there’s no doubt she goes into Saturday looking the best she has.
“I think she’ll let them know she’s there.”
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