Stablemates Sense Of Occasion and Singing will head to the 2016 Newcastle Cup after they finished first and second in the Premier’s Cup at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Imported stayer Singing travelled nicely in the run and he looked as though he was going to race away from the rest of the field when he hit the front at the top of the straight.
The Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane looked the main danger on the inside, but Sense Of Occasion found another effort late and he finished over the top of his stablemate to record an impressive Premier’s Cup victory.
The Lees family have dominated racing in Newcastle for a number of years, but they are still chasing their first Newcastle Cup victory and Kris Lees is hopeful that he can break the drought with either Sense Of Occasion or Singing in just under three weeks.
“We have two lives chances,” Lees said.
“To be honest I gave up on the winner in the run because he looked like he was posted three deep without cover and the other horse was travelling sweet.
“Singing might have just got there a bit early, but he was very good and game in defeat.
“Full credit to the winner, he had a tough run and was strong late.
“It is three weeks yesterday to the Newcastle Cup and this is a lovely preparation.
“He has had a tough run the winner and the second horse will only improve going forward.
“Singing will tighten up a little bit more and I would probably just like to see him covered up a little longer in the run.
“He is a nice horse.”
Tim Clark admitted after the race that not everything went to plan in the run with Sense Of Occasion, but he was able to get the stayer in a nice rhythm and was very happy with the way that he found the line in the final stages.
“I thought I might end up outside the leader, but I just let him travel where he was comfortable early,” Clarke said.
“It was just more about getting him into a rhythm and he was happy there.
“Being wide I had to take my medicine and sit there because there would be no point rushing forward.
“I just sat there and waited and he tracked up into it nicely.
“It was a really good effort, he was really strong late and his staying quality shone through.”
Allergic was very well-backed in the lead-up to the Premier’s Cup, but he was never able to find clear running and he went to the line untested.