Lees backs filly to give rivals slip on bog track

BROADMEADOW trainer Kris Lees is hoping for a "swoopers" Golden Slipper on a wet track on Saturday after his top filly Elimbari drew gate 11 yesterday.

Elimbari immediately blew from $51 to $71 after part-owner Bob Hannon picked out gate 11 in a field of 15 for his filly.

But instead of being distraught Lees was hopeful, even buoyant after the barrier draw.

"Really outside is what I wanted for our filly," Lees said.

"In recent runs she has been cluttered up and I am sure she has not appreciated that.

"From out there she can let the leaders go and just settle into a nice rhythm. I know Elimbari is an outsider, but I reckon she will run a big race."

The Golden Slipper usually sets the pulse racing of everyone including jockeys who go flat out from the start, chasing the $2.5 million first-prize cheque in a total prize purse of $3.5 million.

Lees is predicting that scenario in Saturday's dash for the cash and says a hot pace up front will help his filly to be able to explode down the running.

The rain came to Sydney yesterday and although Saturday's weather is predicted to be fine, it may be too late for anything but a rain-affected track.

"A swoopers' Slipper on a wet track would be perfect for us," Lees said yesterday.

"Her pedigree says she would love it if it was really wet."

Elimbari is by Fastnet Rock from Shalt Not, which was trained by Kris's father, the late Max Lees.

Shalt Not won a Doomben Slipper in Brisbane on a wet track and was considered a "moral" in a QTC Oaks, which was to be run on a bog track, but it got so wet the race had to be called off.

"Elimbari looks to have thrown to her mum in a lot of ways and hopefully that will mean she is a swimmer like her," Lees said.

Elimbari was the ninth horse drawn out and by then most of the inside gates had been drawn.

Fairytale horse Chance Bye, which was bought for just $15,000 by battling Kembla Grange trainer Mick Tubman, was the first drawn out and came up with gate three.

"We've got them by the short and curlies now," was Tubman's graphic quote immediately after the horse's great barrier was drawn.

Jockey Kathy O'Hara rode Chance Bye in a searching gallop at Kembla Grange yesterday morning.

The filly ran the 600 metres in 34.89 seconds, coming home the last 400m in 22.1 seconds.

"She went great this morning and she is ready for the big day," O'Hara said.

"I just hope the filly jumps and runs and kicks away and wins."

Three sets of hopeful connections paid the late entry fee of $150,000 for the chance to run in the Golden Slipper.

One of the late entries, Masquerader, pulled a muscle in his back yesterday morning and was scratched from the Golden Slipper.

Sydney Turf Club officials returned the late entry fee because the horse is injured and did not make it to the barrier draw.

The other two late entries came up roses for connections.

Victorian businessman and leading thoroughbred owner David Moodie, who paid the $150,000 to have Crystal Lily run, drew her barrier and came up with gate one with the second pick of the draw.

The Clarry Conners-trained Decision Time was the third-last out and came up with gate two.

The favourite Military Rose was sixth out and received gate eight.

Trainer Gillian Heinrich described the midfield draw as "perfect".

"She will go forward but if something goes mad in front she will sit off them," the Gold Coast trainer said.

"'The filly has come through her first-up run in Sydney perfectly and she is back to her racing weight."

Military Rose blew her opposition away in winning the Riesling Stakes a fortnight ago over 1200m at Rosehill.

Lees said that if he did not have a runner in the Golden Slipper he would be happy to saddle up Military Rose, which eased from $3.40 to $3.60 in first prices posted after the barrier draw yesterday.

Brightexpectations was second favourite with TAB Sportsbet at $5.50 alongside Crystal Lily, while Chance Bye is next best at $11.

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