Gary Harley – Herald – 11.08.21

Kris Lees accepted with seven of his team for Wednesday’s Metropolitan-class mid-week meeting at Newcastle however, only three of them are likely to run. The premier trainer said on Monday, following acceptances, that Nosey and Rustic Steel will not run, and In The Blink and Sammy will probably head to Scone on Thursday.

“I have had a terrible run with barrier draws and on Wednesday all seven of my horses drew barriers 10, 11,12 and 13. My only three definite starters at this stage are Sequana, Longbottom and Controlthewitness. Sequana finished off nicely in a recent trial and she is working well. The mare had good country form last prep and also has good fresh form. The 900m is a touch short for Longbottom but her recent trials have been impressive – she ran down the speedy Witherspoon in a recent 800m trial. Longbottom has a very good fresh record and she will be doing her best work late down the long straight. Controlthewitness has had a freshen up and is capable of a bold showing. Both In The Blink and Sammy are ready to win and will run well whether we go to Scone or Newcastle” Lees said.

The trainers’ apprentice Dylan Gibbons will ride at his first Metropolitan-class meeting at Newcastle on Wednesday, where all his mounts are trained by Lees, and his boss said on Monday that it is likely a one-off for the teenager given the transfer of the ATC meeting to Newcastle.

Chris Waller has accepted with 15 of his team for the Newcastle meeting. Two of his better winning prospects are Cat D’oro in the 1500m Sky Racing Benchmark 64 Handicap and Selburose in the XXXX Benchmark 72 Handicap 1300m. Cat D’oro has been placed in five of his seven starts without winning. He was very unlucky last start at Wyong when he was held up on the rail on the home turn and then hit more traffic late. Cat D’oro has drawn nicely and the longer trip is ideal. Selburose is knocking on the door after two close placings at Randwick and on the Kensington track recently. She is a speedy mare and two runs back on the Kensington track she led from the outset and was well clear at the 300m only to be run down late. Last start Selburose sat outside the leader and went down by less than half a length. She has barrier one and Chad Lever rides both Cat D’oro and Selburose.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Publicist will be hard to beat in the opening event, the 1300m Astern @ Darley Handicap. On debut at the Kensington track the colt was edged out by the talented Godolphin 2yo Brigantine on July 21. He had been trialling well before that run and he will appreciate the longer trip.