Kris Lees is hoping a successful association over many years with jockey Larry Cassidy can culminate in a Group One victory with Zingaling in the Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm.
Lees has turned to Cassidy’s experience to end a frustrating run for Saturday’s final Group One of the season with the four-year-old.
Zingaling was a fast-finishing third to Varenna Miss at her last appearance in the Group Two QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.
Zingaling, a daughter of Redoute’s Choice, was ridden in the QTC Cup by boom apprentice Tim Bell who rated her unlucky.
“She jumped a bit slow and copped some interference at the 900 metres,” Lees said.
“Tim thought she should have finished closer had she got a clear run and she was only beaten 1-1/2 lengths.
“I’ve decided to put Larry on her this time. I’ve had a lot of luck with him over the years.”
Lees has tried to win the Tatt’s Tiara, formerly Winter Stakes, several times but his best result was with Fritz’s Princess who was runner-up to Absolut Glam in 2008.
Stablemate Absolutelyfabulous finished fifth in that race.
Cassidy rode successfully for Lee’s father, the late Max Lees, and continued his association with the stable when Kris Lees took over training his father’s team following his death.
“I rode a lot of winners for Max when I was in Sydney,” Cassidy said.
“When Max died and Kris took over I kept riding for the stable and continued to ride winners for the stable.”
Cassidy is chasing his second win in the Tatt’s Tiara.
“I won the Winter Stakes on Tripping for Clarry Conners when it was a Group Three race (in 1996),” Cassidy said.
Zingaling has been ultra-consistent in her five starts this campaign.
She resumed with a win in the Group Three Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill in March before running consecutive fourths in the Group Two Sapphire Stakes at Randwick, Listed Darley Crown at Hawkesbury, both in April, and Listed Dark Jewel Classic at Scone last month.
Lees planned to start Zingaling in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap if she qualified by winning the QTC Cup.
“Had she qualified for the Stradbroke, we would have started her,” Lees said.
“But I’ve still got a little question mark over her at 1400 metres.
“Her fourth at Scone was a good run but she died on her run in the last 50 metres.”
Lees rates Doomben 10,000 winner Beaded and Victorian mare Varenna Miss as the main dangers.
“They are the obvious ones to beat, especially Beaded,” he said.
The Tatt’s Tiara will be the final race for Zingaling this campaign before she spells to prepare for the spring.
“Her owners have decided she’ll race on for another season so she’ll go for a break after Saturday and prepare for the spring in Sydney and maybe Melbourne,” Lees said.