Kris Lees has included Fine Bubbles and Scorpio Queen in the 2015 Dark Jewel Classic field and the leading trainer is happy with both horses ahead of the Group 3 event at Scone on Saturday.
Fine Bubbles has not recorded a race win since she took out the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but she has performed consistently throughout her autumn campaign without winning a race.
The Casino Prince mare started her autumn preparation with a credible eighth in the Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and she was unlucky not to finish closer in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 before she finished third at big odds in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Lees told Racing Ahead this morning that he has been very happy with the form of Fine Bubbles this campaign and he believes that the five-year-old will be well suited in the Dark jewel Classic this weekend.
“They have both been accepted with,” Lees said.
“Fine Bubbles is in career best form and she has raced very well in her three runs back all over 1200 metres, which is a little short of her preferred trip.
“This is the race that we have always thought would suit her under handicap conditions.
“She has now had a month between runs, but she had a nice trial on Friday and I think that she is ready to race well.”
Scorpio Queen has gone over a year without winning a race and she has performed inconsistently since she started her autumn campaign with a flat effort in the Wenona Girl Quality.
The Choisir mare returned to a semblance of her best form with a second place finish behind Laser Hawk in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 18, but she finished at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 before she stuck a flat track in the PFD Food Services Handicap (1300m) at Hawkesbury on May 2.
The Lees-trained duo will face a strong challenge in the Dark Jewel Classic and 14 talented mares were included in the final field for the $200,000 race that was released this morning.
Diademe took out a Group 1 in New Zealand before she made the trip to Australia for the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and she will carry the top weight of 59 kilograms, while the likes of Bound For Earth, Calming Influence, Rose Of Choice, My Sabeel and Mamwaazel will contest the Group 3 event on the minimum weight of 54 kilograms.