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Lees hoping for big day out at Randwick

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Trainer Kris Lees expects Frankely Awesome to make her presence felt in the Australian Oaks.

Trainer Kris Lees has given Frankely Awesome the green light to challenge Verry Elleegant again with Hugh Bowman to ride the filly in the Australian Oaks.

Lees had intended to run Frankely Awesome against the colts and geldings in last Saturday’s Australian Derby, seven days after she finished second to the Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes.

The trainer subsequently decided to give her another week to get over the run and she heads to Saturday’s Oaks (2400m) as the second favourite behind Verry Elleegant.

The Lees-trained Aliferous will back up seven days after her upset win in the Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick with Kerrin McEvoy in search of his first win in the fillies Classic.

McEvoy replaces Brenton Avdulla who is committed to the John Sargent-trained Miss Moana.

“Aliferous has come through the Adrian Knox really well, and deserves her shot at a Group One,” Lees said.

Verry Elleegant is at $1.80 to win the Oaks with Frankely Awesome at $5 with VRC Oaks winner Aristia the only other runner under double figures with the TAB at $7.

Aliferous is a $17 chance.

McEvoy’s best Oaks result so far was third on Believe in 2016, the year Bowman won his third of five on Sofia Rosa.

His wins have been on Daffodil (2009), Streama (2012), Sofia Rosa, Bonneval (2017) and Unforgotten (2018).

Lees has three guaranteed Sydney Cup runners – Red Cardinal, Big Duke and Doukhan – with Fairlight the emergency for the 3200m-feature.

The Sydney Cup holds a special place for the trainer with 2006 winner County Tyrone Kris Lees’ first Group One winner and the last trained by his father Max.

Also close to the Newcastle trainer’s heart is the Provincial Championship Final in which he will have three runners – Chalmers, Turnberr, and Evalina – in his attempt to win the $500,000 race for the third time.

Danish Twist won the 1400m-race in 2016 with Serene Miss successful last year.

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