Scone Race 5 No.3 La Grande – $2.90
Kris Lees has been absolutely flying of late and he may have another big day at Scone on Friday, his team headed by this promising middle distance type named La Grande. The Stratum gelding did a great job in his first prep, winning his first two starts before being a victim of a lack of speed at his third start when he ran on for third behind Chosen Prayer. They spelled him, and he looks to have matured a bit judging by his eye-catching effort in his second trial when working home nicely behind the well performed Tatoosh. Like the fact they’ve gone to 1400m first up, shows they feel confident about his fitness levels. He’s going to get back, and you couldn’t say that there’s a whole heap of speed in the race, but it does lack depth and he’s clearly the horse on the way up and that should be enough to get him home.
Kembla Grange Race 3 No.5 Bulla Baby – $5.50
This is a pretty deep maiden but think Bulla Baby is the one to be on now and into the future. The daughter of former VRC Oaks heroine Bulla Borghese is very close to breaking through – she just failed to catch Aurora’s Star last time out and prior to that had run well over unsuitable trips in town. She’ll really appreciate the wide open spaces at Kembla and as long as they’re being given their chance to run on, she shouldn’t have any excuses here. Yes she’s going to get back and need things to pan out, but she’s clearly got talent, as much, if not more than any of her rivals in this, and we should see her best today.
Kembla Grange Race 7 No.6 Danish Twist – $3.10
When you’re hot you’re hot and Kris Lees looks to have another three superb chances in the Kembla Country Championships Qualifier, with the pick of them being Danish Twist. Hugh Bowman takes the ride on this daughter of Dane Shadow who seemingly ticks a few boxes for this. She’s a winner second up, she’s yet to miss a place over the trip, and she will strip much fitter for a gutsy first up effort behind Meursault at Randwick. The only fly in the ointment here is the fact she’s drawn barrier 12 – Bowman will need to be on his game and get her comfortable in the run, think he’ll push forward and attempt to slot in somewhere and if she can be ok in transit her ability can do the rest.
Cranbourne Race 7 No.9 Kachiko – $4
Expect the Mick Price trained mare Kachiko to vastly improve upon her first up effort here and be hard to beat in a race where most of her rivals are fairly limited. She’s definitely looking for the 1500m already after two trials and said first up performance where she could never really get into the race behind Eljetem at Sandown, in what was much better field than what she comes up against here. She looks set to strike a good track surface for the first time in her career too and that may be a big positive. The stable is on fire and this girl can continue that rich vein and go very close in this.
Kembla Grange Race 5 No.4 Kumaon – $16
Godolphin gelding Kumaon won’t know himself with just 54.5kgs in this and meets a horse like My Favorite some 3.5kgs better off at the weights. Now it wasn’t the weight that was the issue first up, he just got way too far back in a slowly run sprint and was never a hope of making up that sort of ground. He’s not the type of horse that you’d be backing at anything less than double figures in just about anything he lines up in, but on his day he’s capable and is certainly good enough to win a race like this. If he doesn’t perform he might be on his way to North Queensland or somewhere similar because he’d have to be on his last few chances with Godolphin.