Kris Lees put the finishing touches to Clearly Innocent’s TAB The Everest preparation (Tuesday) morning, and then a few hours later got an “ideal” barrier draw.
Slot holder Damion Flower drew barrier 6 in the field of 12 for the six-year-old when the draw was conducted just after midday on Sydney Harbour.
Lees wasn’t present but had no complaints at all with the outcome.
“I don’t get too flustered about barrier draws,” he said. “But if someone had asked beforehand what I would like, I would have said around midfield.
“You can’t get any more midfield than six.
“That will give Hugh (jockey Bowman) the opportunity to get him to the outside in the straight and enable him to wind up.”
Clearly Innocent did his last piece of work on the course proper at Broadmeadow (Tuesday) morning prior to the running of Saturday’s inaugural $10m Everest(1200m) at Royal Randwick.
“He worked on his own wide out, and galloped strongly,” Lees said. “I’m very happy with him.”
Clocker “Jock” Gollogly timed Clearly Innocent to run 800m in 51.4 secs, coming home his last 600m in 36.8 secs.
“He worked 18m out and was under strong restraint,” Gollogly said.
Clearly Innocent was the eighth horse to be drawn today. Ruling favorite, Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, was the last horse to be drawn and got barrier two.
Bowman was aboard when Clearly Innocent bolted away with the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm in May, a fortnight after he also impressively won the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) on the gelding at the Scone Cup carnival.
Bowman again was in the saddle when Clearly Innocent was a first-up strong-finishing third (without much room near the inside) to In Her Time in the Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on September 30.
Clearly Innocent may well be left to hold the fort for the stable on Saturday as far as feature races are concerned.
Lees entered Sense Of Occasion, Sound Proposition and Singing for the $500,000 Group 3 wfa Craven Plate (2000m) and Admiral Jello and Doukhan for the $500,000 St Leger Stakes (2600m).
However, his current thinking is that none of them are likely to run.
“Sense Of Occasion needs to get his toe in the ground, and will probably go to Melbourne without another Sydney run,” Lees said.
“Sound Proposition also is heading south and his next start will be in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day (October 28).”
– Lees Racing