The Kris Lees trained Fine Bubbles provided a home town victory in the Group 3 $125,000 Sita Australia Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle today.
Fine Bubbles was one of three Lees runner and had just returned from a successful Brisbane campaign that saw her win a Fillies and Mares Class 6 over 1400m at Eagle Farm from two Queensland starts.
A patient ride from Sydney’s premier jockey James McDonald saw Fine Bubbles ($12) run away from the opposition in the run to the line to score a two lengths win over I’m In The Money ($6 equal favourite) with the winner’s stablemate Gold Epona ($21) hanging on to run third.
Lees’ other runner Valid Contract ($9) wound up in seventh spot just behind the other equal favourite Intimate Moment who found it hard sprint under the 57kgs.
The leading Newcastle trainer said it was good opportunity to test Fine Bubbles at Stakes level and the Casino Prince five year old proved to be the best mare on the day.
“I said to the boys you’ve got the Tibbie, a black type race, walk over the road, we may as well have a throw at the stumps,” Lees said.
Fine Bubbles had drawn awkwardly at barrier twelve in the thirteen horse field and sent Lees sent McDonald out with no specific instructions.
“Great ride from James. Before the race I said from the gate you probably need to be going back and if there doesn’t appear to be no speed, you ride her how you see fit,” Lees said.
“If you begin well you ride her how you see it.”
“That’s why you put these blokes on.”
McDonald responded with a first class ride and after having a sweet run during the race, he eased into the clear at the 300m and Fine Bubbles accelerated quickly to record a comfortable win in the end.