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Kris Lees is hoping for rain in the lead-up to the Kennedy Mile

Trainer Kris Lees is hoping for rain in the lead-up to the Kennedy Mile as he tries to win the Flemington Group One race for a second-straight year.

Lees won last year’s 1600m handicap with Le Romain and has Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion aimed at Saturday’s Kennedy Mile.

The Newcastle trainer also has Sound Proposition and Clearly Innocent in the nominations but said at this stage the former was unlikely to back up after his fourth in the Crystal Mile while Clearly Innocent is being saved for the Group One Darley Classic (1200m).

Sense Of Occasion has finished eighth in his two spring starts in Sydney in the Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Hill Stakes (1800m) on good tracks.

“He probably just needs a bit of give in the track to get back into form,” Lees said.

“I’ve been pleased with his work and he always races well with a gap between runs.”

Sense Of Occasion ran third in the $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on a heavy track in April and finished third in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on a soft track.

His Doomben Cup win in May and his Villiers Stakes win last December were also on rain-affected ground.

“He certainly profiles better if he gets some sting out of the ground,” the trainer said.

“He has run well on good tracks as well but I just think to get back into form he just needs a bit of give in the ground.”

Corey Brown has ridden Sense Of Occasion in his past six starts and has the ride again.

Sense Of Occasion is scheduled to gallop at Sandown on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday.

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