After contemplating a Cox Plate start for Sense Of Occasion, trainer Kris Lees has opted to wait a week with the Doomben Cup winner.
Lees took Sense Of Occasion to Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning for a work-out in company with stablemate Sound Proposition who will run in Saturday’s Crystal Mile at the track.
Sense Of Occasion held a nomination for Saturday’s Cox Plate but Lees has decided to wait for the Group One Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday week, a race he won with Le Romain a year ago.
“I think it’s a better option for him,” Lees said.
“I think the gap between runs coming back to a mile, and a big track at Flemington will suit him.
“I just kept an eye on what horses were going to be running (in the Cox Plate).
“If there had been less runners, four or five like they were talking about for a little while, we would have considered it.
“But I just think he needs to find the right race to get him back into form, and that’s the best option for him.”
A field of nine will line up in the $3 million Cox Plate for which champion Winx is the $1.15 favourite to win for a record-equalling third time.
Sense Of Occasion was placed in the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes during the Sydney autumn before winning the Group One Doomben Cup.
The seven-year-old has finished eighth in the Chelmsford Stakes and the Hill Stakes this campaign.
Lees believes the gelding has been going well enough on the training track but hasn’t shown it on race day.
“But they have been on really firm ground,” he said.
“He probably just needs conditions to be right to find his form, and once he does he’ll be right.”