Time’ is right for Lees to capture hometown cup
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Leading trainer Kris Lees is hopeful, more than confident, that he can break his Newcastle Gold Cup ‘duck’ at Broadmeadow on Thursday with imported galloper Timetable.
Timetable will be ridden by Robert Thompson, who is also seeking a Newcastle Cup breakthrough in the $185,000 Group III Tooheys New Newcastle Gold Cup to be run over 2300 metres.
Lees, in a relatively short training career, has had four minor placings in his hometown feature, finishing second with My Tally in 2003 and Exinite in 2006. He also recorded two third placings with his former stable stalwart County Tyrone in 2004 and 2008.
The 2008 placing was in fact County Tyrone’s last race before the multiple Group I winner was retired.
“Naturally, it would be fantastic to win the Gold Cup on my home track,” Lees said. “I’ve had the four placings so far and been a bit unlucky.
“If Timetable produced his best, he’s definitely got the ability to win the race. But he doesn’t always produce his best.
“Realistically, I think he’s a good place prospect. A win would be a real bonus.”
Six-year-old Timetable is yet to win for the Lees stable – but he has certainly gone close on a number of occasions in both NSW and Queensland.
He hasn’t been far away at his last two starts – both over 2000m – at Randwick and Rosehill.
Before that, he was runner-up on consecutive occasions over 1800m at Rosehill and Randwick.
Timetable has won four races – two of them in England – from 29 starts and is yet to win beyond 2011m.
Thompson, 53, is Australia’s winningest jockey but, surprisingly, has never won a Newcastle Cup in what has been an outstanding career.
Lees, who has won the last four Newcastle training premierships, has seven representatives at Thursday’s Cup meeting.
Lees Racing’s other runners are Traffic (Race 1), At All Costs (Race 2), Nothin Leica Storm (Race 3), Collestrada (Race 3), Deemed (Race 4) and Lil And Grace (Race 4)