Clearly Innocent can prove he is more than a one-track wonder when he runs in the Group One Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm.
Clearly Innocent will be having his third start for Kris Lees on Saturday, a week after the trainer won the Group One Doomben Cup with Sense Of Occasion.
In a confusing scenario the Kingsford Smith in effect replaces the Group One BTC Cup but is being run in the usual time slot of the Doomben 10,000 which was held two weeks ago.
The change has been made so that Eagle Farm can host three winter carnival meetings in a row instead of two.
Clearly Innocent is second favourite for the Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) on the strength of his brilliant win in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes at Scone two weeks ago.
The gelding has won eight races with six of them at Scone including the past two Luskin Star Stakes.
He is so good at Scone that after winning the Luskin Star jockey Hugh Bowman joked Clearly Innocent had led him around the track.
Clearly Innocent also won the Provincial Championship final at Randwick last year when trained by Greg Bennett who has now retired from training to work for Aquis Farm.
His latest win pushed his prize money to $603,600 and his handicap rating has risen to 102.
In almost every year that would be enough to ensure Clearly Innocent of a start in the $1.5 million Stradbroke on June 15.
But to make certain, Lees is hoping Clearly Innocent can run well in the Kingsford Smith.
Lees doesn’t want a huge bump in the weights for the gelding who he hopes will get around 52-53kg in the Stradbroke Handicap 2017.
“Saturday is a big step up from Listed class to Group One so it will be interesting to see how he races.,” Lees said.
“If he can finish in the first few it might earn him a little bit extra in the weights.
“He has pleased me since I took him over. Greg laid some great foundations for him and he came to me in tip top condition.”
Lees had also entered Danish Twist for the Kingsford Smith but will save her for the following week.
“She will run at Eagle Farm in a fillies and mares race next Saturday and then push on to the Group One Tatts Tiara three weeks after that,” Lees said.
Hugh Bowman will again partner Clearly Innocent on Saturday but the gelding is unlikely to get the ace jockeys’ weight in the Stradbroke.