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Kris Lees can sense a Cup win

Kris Lees trainer
Trainer Kris Lees can sense a Doomben Cup win with noted wet track horse Sense of Occasion.

A heavy track gives Sense Of Occasion his best chance to improve on his two Sydney autumn Group One placings in the Doomben Cup.

Heavy rain fell in Brisbane on Friday with the track rated a heavy (9) on race eve,

Sense of Occasion has won five times on rain-affected tracks with his best win coming in the Group Two Villiers at Randwick on a soft seven surface in December.

Last month he finished third in the Group One Doncaster Mile won by Saturday’s Doomben Cup favourite It’s Somewhat and third again in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind Winx.

The Doncaster was run on heavy while the Queen Elizabeth was on soft ground.

In those races Sense of Occasion started at $61 and $151 but no such luxury odds are available for the Doomben Cup and he is now a $10 chance.

Originally trained by the late Guy Walter, Sense of Occasion has also had stints with Joe Pride and Tony McEvoy before finding a home at Kris Lees’s Newcastle stables.

Sense of Occasion has flourished in Newcastle and has now won $1.2 million prize money with the majority earned since joining Lees.

The gelding was one of the many hard luck stories out of the Group Two Hollindale Stakes Cup at the Gold Coast two weeks ago when sixth.

Lees flew to the Gold Coast on Tuesday to supervise Sense of Occasion’s track work and was pleased.

“He seems to have done well since his Hollindale Cup run when he didn’t have much luck. And we are looking forward to Saturday,” Lees said.

He is confident Sense Of Occasion will handle the tricky track as in the gelding’s only other Queensland run he was beaten a nose by Jetset Lad in the 2015 Brisbane Cup which was run that year at Doomben instead of Eagle Farm.

It’s Somewhat has won his past three starts including the Hollindale Stakes on different surfaces ranging from heavy to good.

“He’s worked well and retained his fitness since winning at the Gold Coast. He galloped very nicely at the Gold Coast this week,” Godolphin trainer Darren Beadman said.

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