Overnight rain in Newcastle after a sweltering Sydney day has convinced Joe Pride to divert Destiny’s Kiss from the Group Kingston Town Stakes at Randwick.
The veteran will instead have a crack at the Group Three Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on Friday, when he hopes to sabotage Kris Lees’ three-pronged attempt to claim the elusive trophy on his home track.
Pride said the Kingston Town Stakes was the initial preference for Destiny’s Kiss following the nine-year-old’s stirring victory in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) on September 1.
But when Lloyd Williams opted not to send the Robert Hickmott-trained Kilimanjaro, Hans Holbein and Crocodile Rock north, Newcastle came into contention.
“I threw in a nom and accepted when I heard about Lloyd then 12 mils of rain overnight sealed the deal,” Pride said.
Destiny’s Kiss prefers the cut out of the ground although he had no issues with a good track at Wyong.
“The step up to 2300 is very much to his advantage. He’s a great mile and a half horse,” Pride said.
Pride was confident Destiny’s Kissm who has top weight of 59kg, could still score back-to-back wins.
“This is his level, he just continually wins races with the same profile this race has got,” he said.
“He’s giving weight to horses that are on the way up but haven’t proven themselves yet.”
Lees saddles up Admiral Jello, Wahng Wah and Doukhan in his latest bid to win the Cup and improve on minor placings with My Tally (2003), County Tyrone (2004, 2008), Exinite (2006) and Rio Perdido (2015).
After working for his father Max for many years, Kris Lees took over the stable after Max died in 2003, also without having won his local Cup despite many Group One successes.
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