Newcastle spring carnival: Kris Lees weighs up Cameron hopes as Lloyd Williams, Darren Weir boost Cup nominations

Sense Of Occasion. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au
Sense Of Occasion. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au

KRIS Lees was considering Cameron Handicap (1500m) starts for Sense Of Occasion and Invincible Gem after nominations for Newcastle’s spring carnival features were released on Monday.

Sense Of Occasion, which resumed with an eighth in the Chelmsford Stakes behind Winx on September 2, was a surprise nomination for Friday’s group 3 Cameron and one of three from Lees’ Newcastle stables. And while Sound Proposition and Invincible Gem look set for the Cameron, the Doomben Cup winner appears likely to be kept for the September 30 Epsom Handicap.

“He’s a rough possibility, we’ll just see how he works tomorrow,” Lees said. “I might wait and go straight to the Epsom.”

Invincible Gem was also listed for the group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle and for Saturday’s group 1 Colgate Optic White (George Main) Stakes (1600m) featuring Winx and group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick.

“The likely one is the Cameron,” Lees said. “I’ll have a look at the weights first and decide.”

He said Le Romain, nominated for the Colgate Optic White Stakes, was still in Melbourne and would likely race in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Lees said Admiral Jello, Doukhan, Singing and Wahng Wah would likely run in Friday’s Newcastle Cup (2300m). He has Zestful, Skylight Glow and Princess Posh in the Tibbie and Whispered Secret set for the group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m).

Lees, meanwhile, said the Newcastle Cup shaped up as stronger than most years.

Five-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams had three nominations and premier Australian trainer Darren Weir two to give the race a strong Victorian presence.

Williams’ Robert Hickmott-trained Kilimanjaro, Hans Holbein and Crocodile Rock were nominations along with Weir’s Master Zephyr and Pacodali.

Nominations were extended until Tuesday for the Spring Stakes, which attracted 12 entries for the 16-horse event.