Kris Lees is on track to surpass his record breaking 2016-2017 season and several chances at Tuesday’s Central Coast Club’s Challenge Race Day could further his cause.
Lees trained a record 161 winners to claim a personal best last season and with 141 already in the bag, he is a strong chance of surpassing that tally with 10 weeks remaining in this season.
He is currently running third in the NSW Trainers Premiership with 133 1/2 wins and fifth in the Metropolitan arena with 32 wins.
“It is great to pick up Premierships along the way but it is all about training winners and getting a result for my owners,” Lees said.
“We are having another good season and I believe this is the strongest team I have ever had.
“I’ve never had this sort of depth and if we can keep getting results then it will be another great season.”
Lees considers last start winner I Am Awesome a strong chance in the 1600m Class 4 Handicap.
The I Am Invincible mare, who has the impressive stats of three wins and a third from six starts, was a winner over 1450m when resuming at Muswellbrook on May 4.
“She is a nice mare and she won well first up,” Lees said.
“This looks like a nice race for her. She has won at the mile before and was placed at Gosford.
“She was strong over the 1450m so this should really suit her.”
I Am Awesome has drawn well in two and will be partnered by Brenton Avdulla.
Lees is hoping well bred Stratum filly Miss Earth can break through for her debut win in the 1300m Maiden Plate but concedes the barrier could be a problem.
The filly, a $220,000 yearling purchase by the China Horse Club, drew 10 in a field of 14 and will also be ridden by Avulla.
“She has drawn a bit tricky in this race but she is a nice filly who will appreciate the step up in trip.
“It was a good run at Warwick Farm last Wednesday and she would of gone close to winning with an alley.
“It’s a strong enough race on Tuesday, most of these 2YO Provincials are but she will run well.
“Brenton rode her last start, so he knows her and that’s an advantage.”
The race has attracted some well-bred two-year-old including I Am Invincible colt Purton from the Brad Widdup stable, who was a $600,000 buy.
Another of the Lees runners Bochy resumes in the 1350m Benchmark 68 Handicap with Aaron Bullock in the saddle and Lees wouldn’t be surprised to see him figure in the finish.
“Bochy is a nice horse resuming. He might just need the run but he’s quite capable first up.
“He has pretty good first up form and while he’s looking for more ground I think he should go well.”
The stable has also accepted with Australian Bloodstock’s Ten Carat in the 1000m Maiden Plate but Lees is uncertain if the gelding will start.
“I’m undecided if I’ll run him. He’s been pretty consistent without winning and I don’t think he’s far off.”
Ten Carat has been placed at his last three starts, his latest at Newcastle on May 5 when he was narrowly defeated over the 900m.
Tuesday’s meeting has attracted good fields, with the first of eight getting underway at 12.05pm.
Race 1 – 12.05pm: TOUKLEY GOLF CLUB 3YO MAIDEN HANDICAP (1350m): 1 RAKHISH, 2 Fudgewedge, 3 Dancing Phryne, 4 The Towers.
Race 2 – 12.40pm: WYONG RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB GROUP MAIDEN PLATE (2100m): 1 I ARIZE, 2 Augusta In April, 3 Marfaz, 4 Fanny Chenal.
Race 3 – 1.20pm: THE DOYLO MAIDEN PLATE (1000m): 1 MANDALONG NICKO, 2 Temple Run, 3 Dreamy Dragon, 4 Ten Carat.
Race 4 – 1.55pm: MUNMORAH UNITED BOWLING CLUB 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1300m): 1 WHITELEY, 2 Miss Earth, 3 Helaku, 4 Magpie.
Race 5 – 2.35pm: NORAH HEAD SPOTIES PROVINCIAL MILE CLASS 4 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 STROME, 2 I Am Awesome, 3 Sleepwalker, 4 Weekend Affair.
Race 6 – 3.10pm: CLUB TOUKLEY RSL CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 AFRICAN RAINBOW, 2 Home Win, 3 Uncle Rodriguez, 4 Ticket To Riches.
Race 7 – 3.50pm: WYONG GOLF CLUB BENCHMARK 68 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 CHOICE HARVEST, 2 Your Witness, 3 Lady Evelyn, 4 How Sweet It Is.
Race 8 – 4.25pm: THE ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1200m): 1 GRACEFILLY, 2 Oxford Angel, 3 Katgully Red, 4 Military Academy.