Kris Lees looks to bright autumn with Yulong Xingsheng after frustrating Cup day run

COMEBACK: The Kris Lees-trained Doukhan and jockey Jean Van Overmeire after their win at Randwick on Tuesday. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito
COMEBACK: The Kris Lees-trained Doukhan and jockey Jean Van Overmeire after their win at Randwick on Tuesday. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees was left frustrated on Tuesday but excited about the autumn with Yulong Xingsheng after her eye-catching finish when fourth at Flemington on the Melbourne Cup program.

Kerrin McEvoy pushed for the lead from gate three with the I Am Invincible filly early before settling behind the frontrunners in the listed $150,000 race for three-year-olds over 1400 metres.

Yulong Xingsheng was stuck between runners before being squeezed out in the straight. 

McEvoy moved wider to find clear running and his mount regained momentum to finish strongly in the fillies event, just a head behind third-placed Warranty and within two and a half lengths of winner Our Crown Mistress.

The troubled but encouraging run followed a second in the listed Reginald Allen Quality at Randwick on The Everest day, October 14. 

“It was a really strong run, she just lost her spot at a vital stage and then had to come again late,” Lees said.

“She finished off the race well but you can’t give away that kind of start and win.

“We’ll reassess. She’ll probably have a spell but we’ll just see how she comes through. She’ll be a nice filly in the autumn.”

While out of luck at Flemington, Lees enjoyed breakthrough success at Randwick with the Australian Bloodstock-owned Doukhan.

The nine-year-old gelding, which has overcome two tendon injuries, had not win since June 2015 and was having only his seventh start since when successful over 2400m with Jean Van Overmeire aboard on Tuesday.

The Lees-trained Princess Posh and Rosa Carolina were second at Randwick and Lomazzo won at Muswellbrook.

Lees has Powerline in the $120,000 Subzero Handicap for grey horses at Flemington on Thursday and Sense Of Occasion (Emirates Stakes) and Clearly Innocent (Darley Classic) racing in group 1 events on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival on Saturday.

The Paul Perry-trained Surjin is nominated for the listed Hilton Stakes on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Newcastle trainer Rod Ollerton's Royal Tudor was eighth in the $120,000 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington on Tuesday.

From barrier 10 and with a four-kilogram topweight of 60kg, the five-year-old gelding came four wide on the turn and could not make up ground on the leaders.

It was a repeat of his debut at Flemington on October 7 when eighth in listed company.

“It’s a leader’ track, he got caught deep and with the weight, it was always going to be hard from there,” Ollerton said. “Even the good horses are going to need a lot of favours on a day like this.”

As for Royal Tudor’s next assignment, Ollerton said: “We'll get him home first and think about it then.”

At Muswellbrook, Scones trainers John Simpson and Brett Cavanough were successful with Thornbro and Leica’s Lass respectively.

Todd Howlett's Dalmatia Prince took out the Mayors Cup, Perry won with Marathon and Pat Farrell had a hometown victory with Pel.