As stable big guns Graff and In Her Time prepare to clash in the Group One Lightning Stakes in Melbourne, Kris Lees is taking a softer approach with capable sprinter Invincible Gem.
The mare resumes in the Group Three Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday in search of her first win since she upstaged barn mate Le Romain to take out the 2017 Missile Stakes.
Invincible Gem has faced some tough assignments since then, bumping into Winx, Happy Clapper and Santa Ana Lane.
But there are no rivals of that calibre on Saturday and Lees is hoping the scene is ripe for Invincible Gem to break her winning drought.
“I’ve been very happy with how she’s been going without winning,” Lees said.
“She’s playing up in the top grade now but this is probably suitable for her so hopefully she can get back in the winner’s stall.”
Stablemate Princess Posh will also resume in the Triscay Stakes and as a mare who thrives on racing, she is appreciating being out of the paddock and back in the stable.
Princess Posh had 14 starts last year, kicking off with a win at Newcastle in March and culminating with a Group Two placing at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Lees says she is one of the toughest mares he has trained.
“Definitely. She was in nearly all last year and she was still racing well at the end of her prep after winning first-up,” he said.
“Looking at her suggests she may not be as forward as she normally is first-up, she may take a run, but I think she’s in for a pretty good preparation again.”
Lees will have a strong team at Randwick on Saturday and is also set to play a key hand at Flemington where Graff and In Her Time are among the leading Lightning Stakes chances.