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Mixed fortunes for Lees in barrier draw

miss fabulass
Miss Fabulass (l) will have to overcome the outside draw in the Surround Stakes at Randwick.

Kris Lees has been dealt a mixed bag ahead of the Group One Surround Stakes with the stable’s two fillies book-ending the field in the barrier draw.

El Dorado Dreaming will start from the rails while Miss Fabulass will have to overcome the outside gate in the field of 14 plus two emergencies.

“It’s nearly the same draw as two weeks ago. Miss Fabulass probably needed a softer draw but you can’t stress over barriers,” Lees said.

Miss Fabulass was hard in the market first-up in the Light Fingers Stakes when she settled back from a wide barrier and finished ninth behind Nakeeta Jane who will again be among her rivals on Saturday.

Lees saw merit in the performance and while her barrier is a negative in the Surround, he believes Miss Fabulass is progressing well enough to revive some of her spring form which included a Group Two Tea Rose Stakes win over the same course and distance.

“It was good to see her settle. It was probably the best she’s settled in a race so there were some positives out of it,” Lees said of her Light Fingers Stakes run.

“I’m expecting her to bounce back really well on Saturday, although obviously the draw has got us a little concerned.”

Miss Fabulass is raced by her breeder John Singleton who sent Samantha Miss to England to be served by Frankel to southern hemisphere time.

Lees trained Samantha Miss to three Group One wins and Singleton paid $3.85 million for her at the 2009 Sydney Easter Broodmare sale.

El Dorado Dreaming was also nominated for the Australian Guineas but Lees did not accept for the Flemington feature, opting to stick to his original plan and run her at Randwick.

The three-year-old also resumed in the Light Fingers Stakes, finishing fourth, and Lees said the draw had made it difficult to separate the pair on Saturday.

“With the barrier draw, I couldn’t split them,” he said.

“One’s a Group One winner at 1400, one is a Group Two winner at 1400. I think they’ll both run well depending on what type of luck they get.”

Fiesta has opened favourite at $5 despite drawing the second outside gate and holds sway over Nakeeta Jane at $5.50, with Miss Fabulass and El Dorado Dreaming at $10 and $14 respectively.

Lees also confirmed Gem Song had overcome a skin infection which resulted in his scratching from the Hobartville Stakes last Saturday and would run against the older horses in the Liverpool City Cup at Randwick.

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