Many Queensland trainers have been heading across the border into northern NSW in the past year but Ballina’s Stephen Lee has made a success of going the opposite direction.
Lee has been a leading trainer in the NSW Northern Rivers for more than three decades and has campaigned in Sydney and Melbourne in the past year.
But he has made his particular mark in Brisbane where he has won about 10 races in the past 12 months.
Lee has accepted with five horses at Doomben on Saturday – Anton En Avant (Open Hcp), Espiritu (Chris Munce Hcp), Napayshini (McIntyre Hcp), Profiler (Eureka Hcp) and Voltaire Lumiere (Eureka Hcp).
His horses are noted for their toughness and consistency with Anton En Avant winning 10 races, including three in Brisbane, while Espiritu has won seven times with four of those at Doomben.
Lee was in the winner’s circle at Doomben last week when former Godolphin horse Pleased scored an impressive win.
“I like to place my horses where I think they can win. A few of them have reached a level where they are best suited in Brisbane,” Lee said.
“The road up here is good these days and we can travel in one day.”
Jim Byrne rode Pleased last week and will have the rides on Anton En Avant and Espiritu who are two of a strong book of rides for the jockey who begins a careless riding suspension after Saturday.