Lees hopes to join with Gibbons for big day at Hawkesbury

Gibbons made an impact on Lazeta at the South Pacific Classic after a frustrating three-round run of bad luck. He stuck with her in the Hawkesbury Guineas, where she moved up to Group 3 level.

“She’s done well since the tournament. It’s a good fit for her,” Lees said. “She’s already a double benefit winner, so we’re just trying to put her in the right place, the next step is Group 3.

“I think she has a lot of upside over the next 12 months, and she looks like she’s going to stretch the mile.

“People think she’s a wetland tracker, but she’s capable in every way and should have a chance to prove that with a fantastic draw in Guinea.”

Gibbons would dance Never Talk, which would appreciate the softer Hawkesbury track. She hasn’t won in a year but finished second to Zapeteo in the Sapphire Championship at Randwick a few weeks ago.

Lees hoped to make Never Talk ride closer as he ascended the 1300m of Hawkesbury Crown, but a 13-draw ended that.


“She certainly prefers wet ground, but she’s also able to walk on harder ground. A wet track might just keep a few other guys out of the race,” Lees said.

“I would have liked to have drawn a little softer with her. That would have kept us in one spot because she’s used to making herself do too much during games.”

That’s not a problem for Hawkesbury Cup’s Hosier. He looks like a leader in the 1600m and likes to keep his toes on the ground.

“He picked up the pace and kept grinding. He just had a great racing style,” Lees said. “It’s his sweet spot and he’ll probably find the right track.

“I think he can run up to 2000m, but he doesn’t usually come under a mile either. He’s an expert type of horse.

“We’re just going to let him play to his strengths and let other guys beat us.”

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