Lightly raced three-year-old Gold Seventy Seven underlined the emerging depth of the Kris Lees stable with a dominant performance at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The Newcastle trainer, who won the Group One Turnbull Stakes during the spring carnival with Lucia Valentina, is building a formidable team after also taking over the training of Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.
Gold Seventy Seven is still untapped but jockey Hugh Bowman believes he has the potential to graduate to better races.
Lees and Bowman have a record of success together, most significantly with Samantha Miss who they won four Group One races with during 2008 and 2009.
“I’d say he’d measure up to black-type in the future,” Bowman said.
Gold Seventy Seven was coming off a debut win at Newcastle and made the transition to metropolitan midweek grade with ease.
Despite the horse wanting to race keenly early, Bowman was able to get him to settle and he ranged up to the leaders in the straight and exploded clear to win the TAB Place Multi Handicap (1250m) by almost five lengths.
“I felt he’d find a good couple of lengths when I asked him to go but he sustained it which is always a good sign,” Bowman said.
“To come back under me, get around the track his first time here then balance up and get going is a really good effort.”
Lees’s stable representative Malcolm Ollerton said the horse had always shown ability and had gained confidence from what he described as a “soft” maiden win at his first start.
Gold Seventy Seven gave Lees the first leg of a winning double with Jim Cassidy successful aboard stablemate Olympic Academy.
The meeting was also a happy hunting ground for the Ingham family which won the first two races with the Chris Waller-trained pair of Sadler’s Lake and Gossamer.
A son of High Chaparral, Sadler’s Lake is part of the first batch of the Ingham’s home-bred horses – his dam Mingshan was trained by Waller but never made it to the racetrack.
“We identified his dam as a Slipper horse and she went amiss so it’s good to see them having some fun with her stock,” Waller said.
Glyn Schofield’s afternoon wasn’t as happy.
The in-form jockey, who rode a treble at Saturday’s Villiers Stakes meeting at Randwick, was suspended for four meetings for shifting in aboard Rock Temple near the 700m of the Hyland Race Colours Handicap.
Schofield will begin the penalty after he rides at Rosehill on Saturday and can return on December 30, ruling him out of the plum ride on Ball Of Muscle in the Canterbury Classic on December 27.