More than a decade on from his first, Newcastle trainer Kris Lees will strive for a second victory in the Magic Millions fillies and mares race on the Gold Coast this weekend.
Fritz’s Princess saluted for Lees in the same 1300 metre feature in 2007, then valued at $200,000, and will now have Sasso Corbaro running for $970,000 worth of prizemoney on Saturday.
“I won it about 10 years ago with Fritz’s Princess,” Lees told the Newcastle Herald from the Magic Millons sales on the Gold Coast on Friday.
“There’s big money up for grabs so it’s good to be amongst it.”
Four-year-old mare Sasso Corbaro arrives at the prestigious Queensland meeting fresh from a first-up, one-length win in a benchmark 75 handicap over 1200m on the Sunshine Coast on Boxing Day.
“She’s come back in a good order,” Lees said.
“It was a strong run from back in the field to get the win.
“That was softer competition and this is a big jump in grade and a very open race.”
Lees feels top weight Invincibella is the main threat.
Sasso Corbaro, which has four wins and three places from 11 career starts, will launch from barrier 10 with jockey Corey Brown carrying 55.5 kilograms.
She triumphed three times in a row in 2017, kicked off by the two-year-old maiden plate (1150m) at Newcastle’s spring carnival and followed with success at both Hawkesbury and Randwick.
Sasso Corbaro also ran at the Magic Millions 12 months ago, finishing sixth in the prized three-year-old guineas (1400m).
Lees’ former Magic Millions fillies and mares champion Fritz’s Princess recorded a commanding victory on the Gold Coast 12 years ago.
"I thought that she could win before the race, but not in my wildest dreams did I think that she’d win by five lengths and run a class record to boot," Lees said in a Newcastle Herald report from 2007.
Jockey Jim Cassidy said post-race of Fritz’s Princess that “I’ve never been on a horse that was going to win 1000 metres from home”.
Owner Nick Moraitis bought Fritz’s Princess for $85,000 and aged four at the time of the Magic Millions success she had collected $340,000 in prizemoney.
Meanwhile, Lees said Turnberry was the pick of his Randwick runners on Saturday.
Fellow Hunter trainers Rodney Northam, David Atkins and Brett Cavanough will go head-to-head in the seventh at Sydney with After All That, Plaisir and Brazen respectively.
Paul Perry has Red Dream and Vihari in the sixth.