Gem Song ready for Missile Stakes

Only overnight rain will prevent Kris Lees from launching a four-horse attack on tomorrow’s opening Group race of the new season at Royal Randwick tomorrow.

And he considers Gem Song may prove the best of his foursome in the $250,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), to be run at set weights plus penalties.

Along with Gem Song  (Nash Rawiller), Lees plans to also saddle Special Reward  (Glyn Schofield) and the mares Wandabaa  (Brenton Avdulla) and Enchanted Heart  (Tim Clark).

The latter pair, along with stablemate Lunakorn, will be offered for unreserved sale at an Inglis online auction on August 16 and 17.

Randwick this morning was upgraded to a "Soft 6", and Lees late this morning indicated all four would line up in the Missile provided Sydney did not receive overnight rain.

"Gem Song looks to be the pick of our runners," he said.

"He is in good order, is nicely drawn and did a good job when runner-up in the Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton last month.

"He drops from 133lbs to 124lbs under the conditions of the Missile, and I feel he will run really well.

"Special Reward is resuming, having not raced since early March, and is drawn poorly.

"He will definitely take improvement from this run.

"Wandabaa and Enchanted Heart  will both get back but also will be strong late.

"Wandabaa  has been freshened since the Group 1 Tatts' Tiara at Eagle Farm in late June, and Enchanted Heart was unlucky when narrowly beaten at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday."

Lees starts Our Candidate (Benchmark 78 Handicap, 1 1⁄2 m) and Cacofonix (3&4YO Benchmark 72 Handicap, 7 f) prior to the Missile.

Stable apprentice Dylan Gibbons rides the pair; his 7lbs city claim importantly lessening both horses' weights from 132lbs to 57kg.

Our Candidate returned to the winning list in a Class 6 Rural Plate (2200m) at the Grafton carnival on July whilst former New Zealander Cacofonix caught the eye at his Australian debut when fourth to Pizarro in a 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on July 16.

"Our Candidate missed a run at Randwick a fortnight ago when the races were called off after the first had been run, but that's not a concern," Lees said.

"These older European horses don't mind their runs being spaced, and he is in good order and the 1 1⁄2 m won't be a problem.

"Cacofonix is coming along nicely, and I expect him to run well at his second run for us.

"But he just might need this outing to fit him for a 1 m assignment next time."

. Juventus (apprentice Bailey Wheeler) is back to provincial racing at Newcastle tomorrow after his last six starts have all been in town.

Wheeler's 7lbs claim lessens his CG&E Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) topweight from 135lbs to 58.5kg.

"Juventus' benchmark rating has dropped, so this is a good opportunity to go back to provincial class," Lees said.

"He is nicely placed on his best form (as the winner of six races, including a heat of the Summer Provincial Series at Hawkesbury last December), and has a soft draw."

. Lees has three Doomben representatives tomorrow; Miracle Day in the CG&E Benchmark 72 Handicap (1110m), and Tavisan and Snowzone in the Open Handicap (1200m).

Michael Cahill rides Miracle Day, Samantha Collett is on Tavisan and Ben Thompson partners Snowzone.

"Miracle Day did a terrific job last time when second at Doomben in a Class 3 Plate over the same trip," Lees said.

"He is better drawn now and fitter for two runs this preparation.

"Tavisan is also better for his first-up fourth in the Kirby Handicap (1000m) at the Grafton carnival, and has the pace to be right up on the speed.

"Snowzone has a terrific Doomben record, is beautifully drawn and has the limit weight (52.5kg) going to Open company.

"He is racing really well, and I feel has a great chance of winning another race here."

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