Munce on board for Lees


EWCASTLE trainer Kris Lees believes racing’s man of the moment Chris Munce can help him bring home a rich prize from Brisbane tomorrow with his promising galloper Beaufort Gyre.

Beaufort Gyre has been runner-up at his past two starts and been placed four out of five career runs.

Lees may have found the perfect race for the three-year-old which has been second at Gosford and Wyong at his past two.

The son of Nadeem runs in the $100,000 Brisbane Town Plate Maiden (1400metres). The winner of the set-weights race will take home $64,000.

The gelding has drawn perfectly in gate four and with Munce in the saddle looks extremely hard to beat.

Munce captured the headlines last week when he become the first jockey in Queensland history to ride 100 winners in a season in the metropolitan area.

‘‘Chris had several chances for a ride in the big maiden but we got him, which is great,’’ Lees said.

‘‘He is obviously going enormous and it does not hurt to have a jockey of his calibre riding for you.’’

Lees said the reason he decided to send his galloper north was simple.

‘‘There are not too many maidens worth one-hundred grand,’’ Lees said with a laugh.

‘‘He goes well and this is the perfect opportunity for him to break his maiden and earn his owners plenty of prizemoney.’’

■Kris Lees has another promising galloper, At All Costs, engaged at Rosehill tomorrow.

At All Costs will contest race three, the $85,000 Tabsportsbet benchmark80 over 1300m.

The promising galloper has won two of his past three and was impressive in scoring at Newcastle last start.

Lees has added blinkers to At All Costs for tomorrow’s race.

‘‘He is showing good promise but it is a step up to Saturday city grade for him,’’ Lees said.

‘‘This race will determine where we are going with him. Blinkers should sharpen him up that little bit extra.’’

■Wyong Race Club will announce on Tuesday that they will have an important visitor for their big cup day on Friday, September 7.

The greatest trophy of them all, the Melbourne Cup, will be on show before the $150,000 listed Wyong Cup over 2100m.

The Cup showing at Wyong is part of a nationwide tour.

The club is also breaking new ground by having free entry for cup day.

‘‘I do not know of any other major club that lets punters in for free on cup day,’’ race club chief Tony Drew said.

■Gosford’s star apprentice, Jenny Duggan, has received the ultimate compliment from master trainer Lee Freedman.

Duggan continued on her winning way with a double at Cessnock at the Newcastle Herald Jungle Juice Cup meeting on Tuesday.

Freedman, who was at Gosford races on Wednesday, said he was keen to give Duggan a ride for him and co-trainer Graeme Rogerson at Newcastle tomorrow.

The high-profile pair of trainers will start Ward in race five at Broadmeadow.

‘‘I offered her a ride at Newcastle on Saturday but I couldn’t book her,’’ Freedman said.

‘‘She is showing she can really ride, and when the opportunity comes up Jenny will get a ride for our stable.’’

■ Newcastle Jockey Club’s two apprentice premierships are beckoning for Duggan.

At Broadmeadow she and defending titleholder Alex Stokes trail talented Newcastle apprentice Alison Threadwell by just half a win.

After tomorrow’s meeting there are just two cards left before the end of the season at Broadmeadow.

At Cessnock, Duggan trails Threadwell by a single win and there is just one meeting left there this season.

Veteran jockey Robert Thompson has the senior rider’s premiership all sewn up on his home track as he has a four-win lead.

■ The highly promising California Storm might help give Darren Smith a chance of regaining the lead in the battle for the Newcastle trainer’s premiership tomorrow at Broadmeadow.

A winning treble at the last Broadmeadow meeting put Kris Lees, who has won the past four premierships, back in front by a half a win from Smith.

Smith had led for most of the season.

He has a California Storm (Alison Threadwell) in race two and Iberian Pleasure (Matt Palmer) in the last as his main hopes.

California Storm looked like a superstar in the making when she streeted her rivals on debut at Newcastle on March 24.

She then failed when she led but quickly weakened when eighth of 11 at Warwick Farm on April 4.

‘‘She has trialled well since resuming, and on her first win anything is possible with California Storm,’’ Smith said.

Lees (17 wins) has a strong team of nine entered and Smith (16) has three runners.

■Paul Perry’s stablemates Southern Skye and Guderian will start in the IPPA benchmark90 over 1800m at Rosehill tomorrow.

‘‘Guderian needs a dry track and Southern Skye is well placed in this race so both are going to go around,’’ stable foreman Shannon Perry said.

■Newcastle trainer Darren Smith is hoping his slick sprinter Welkom Gold can come back to top form at Rosehill tomorrow.

Welkom Gold runs in the $85,000 Westend Mazda benchmark95 over 1100m.

‘‘This will be his third run from an 18-month break and he is getting fitter with each run,’’ Smith said.

‘‘He is working really well and from barrier two will sit right on the pace.

‘‘Shaun Guymer’s three-kilo claim really helps as he is weighted with 60kilos.’’

Newcastle will also be represented by Motspur in the race.

‘‘I have also nominated for the Ramornie next Wednesday at Grafton in case the weather turned for the worse,’’ trainer Lees said.

‘‘Old Motspur hasn’t raced for a month and has freshened up very well.’’

■Wyong trainer Tracey Bartley turned full circle with the win of General’s Sniper in the $27,500 Jungle Juice Cup (1350m) on Tuesday.

Bartley was having his first start in the iconic event but is no stranger to success at Cessnock.

He rode his first winner at Cessnock in the same year the Jungle Juice Cup was born 31 years ago.

“It was my 11th ride in a race, and the horse I won on was Just A Phantom and he carried the 11 saddlecloth,” Bartley recalled.

“It’s terrific to come back here and win the Jungle Juice Cup with my first starter.”

■Robert Thompson produced another star ride to win the Jungle Juice Cup for the eighth time, but anyone who wants to back a winner in the future should stick with the runner-up, Never Doubt Me.

This three-year-old filly humped 59.5kg, conceding 5.5kg to her older rival, and stormed home to be narrowly beaten.

The run had ‘‘back me next time’’ written all over it.

The top three in the race had an easy three lengths over the rest of the field.

■Former Victorian galloper Supercheap is really living up to is name.

Supercheap was having his first start in the area when he won the class one over 1350m at Cessnock on Tuesday.

He was purchased by astute Cessnock trainer Jeremy Sylvester three weeks ago for $6000 and the win on Tuesday netted him $8500.

■TAB figures on Tuesday’s Jungle Juice meeting showed an increase of $100,000 on the previous year.

The crowd was described as good for modern times, but of course nowhere near the old days when bus load after bus load of high-spirited punters poured into the Cessnock course.

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