All Aged Stakes: Newcastle-trained trio chase comeback win

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

This time last year, the Paul Perry-trainedThe Mission stormed to a bold front-running win in the Champagne Stakes and Kris Lees’Le Romain narrowly missed a fourth group 1 victory when second to Tivaci in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick.
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BACK ON TRACK: The Paul Perry-trained The Mission winning the 2017 group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600 metres) by more than two lengths as a $9 chance with Damian Lane aboard. Picture: bradleyphotos出售老域名.au

Lees’ Clearly Innocent was scratched on the day but broke through a month later for his group 1 win in the Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm.

But a year, or at least 11 months, can be a long time in racing.

The Newcastle-trained trio clash in the All Aged Stakes (1400 metres),featuring TJ Smith winner Trapeze Artist,on Saturday searching for their first success since.

Le Romain’s last victory was in the Canterbury Stakes in March 2017 and his only placing since the All Agedwas a second in the Missile Stakes.

Surgery to repair a twisted bowel restricted the five-year-old gelding to two spring runs and delayed his autumn return.He resumed with seventh and fourth in the Galaxy (1100m)and TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) respectively and both times impressed Lees with his work to the line in preparation for the more suitable distance this Saturday.

“I think he’s ready to run up tohis best,” Lees said.“I’d be surprised if he doesn’t.”

CLOSE: Le Romain, left, second to Trivaci in the All Aged. Picture: bradleyphotos,com.au

Lees said the six-monthbreak from racing “meant he was just a bit bigger in condition so he was going to take a couple of runs to get to his best”.

Le Romain, from gate 12,was on the third line of betting at $8.50 with TAB Fixed Odds and would be shorter on rain-affected going. Randwick was a Good 4 on Friday.

“He can raceon firm ground, he just prefers soft ground,” Lees said.“It just wipes a few others out, that’s what works for him.”

Clearly Innocent, a $23 chance from barrier seven, has resumed with sixth in the Southern Cross, Canterbury and George Ryder Stakes.

“I thought his first-up run was very good. His second-up was only plain, then the last one was a bit inconclusive against Winx,” Lees said. “He’s four weeks between runs, the only thing was I was desperate for a bit more rain for him.”

Past the All Aged Stakes, Lees said “bothcould end up in Brisbane. If we get some wet ground up there, that’s still an option for them.”

The Mission, meanwhile, was a $23 chance from gate three after two encouraging fifths in the Galaxy and TJ Smith. The Choisir colt had a disappointing spring but has finished strongly in top company recently after being ridden back in the field.

“This time around he’s come back so much better,” Perry said.

BREAKTHROUGH: Clearly Innocent wins the Kingsford-Smith Cup. Picture: AAP

“He’s probably being ridden a bit different, blinkers, things like that. He seems to be in a good place at the moment anyway.”

Perrywill have $34-shot Ragged Rascal in the Champagne, which also features El Dorado Dreaming for Newcastle trainer Ben Smith.

“Going two runs back, he probably should have run a place there,” Perry said.

“Last start he probably never had the best of runs. He’ll run a nice race, I feel.”

Lees, meanwhile, has opted to runStar Reflection in the group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) rather than a benchmark handicap.

“She never runs a bad race,” Lees said.“It’s a pretty strong race but she’s quite capable of running a place in that.”

Newcastle trainer Jay Hopkins has Got Unders from gate three two in the same race.

Elsewhere on the program, Lower Belford trainer Todd Howlett has Nic’s Vendetta in the Highway Handicap (1200m) and Yuralla Boy in the group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m).

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