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Guineas still in the mix for Gem Song

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Gem Song is ready for the Liverpool City Cup after a skin infection interrupted his campaign.

Trainer Kris Lees hasn’t given up on his Randwick Guineas aspirations for Gem Song despite a hiccup in the three-year-old’s preparation for the Group One race.

Gem Song was scheduled to run against The Autumn Sun in the Hobartville Stakes last Saturday but was scratched because of a skin infection.

He has recovered from the setback and will line up in the Group Three Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday, but the program switch means he will face a seven-day back up if he pushes on to the Randwick Guineas.

Lees says Gem Song hasn’t missed any work but admits the disruption has been frustrating.

“It has been from a Guineas perspective, now he’s got to back up and the program for him has changed, but fitness-wise he’s good,” Lees said.

Gem Song takes on the older horses in the Liverpool City Cup including You Make Me Smile, who has strung together a trio of wins, and European import Advance Yulong, a dual Group Two winner in Germany making his local debut for Chris Waller.

“He’s taking on older horses. It’s not ideal but he’ll go well,” Lees said.

Gem Song is second pick in early betting behind Dreamforce, who was luckless first-up in the Southern Cross Stakes when he was chopped out of a run in the straight and finished strongly to get within two lengths of the winner Ekstein.

The Autumn Sun remains odds-on favourite for the Randwick Guineas on Saturday week with Gem Song a $15 chance.

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