Kris Lees weighs up next assignment for Felines after Hawkesbury Rush win

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees is likely to have a strong hand in the listed Ortensia Stakes (1100 metres) at the Scone carnival on May 13, even if he takes Felines on a different path.
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RAPID: Felines and jockey Hugh Bowman lead the field across the line in the Hawkesbury Rush on Saturday. Picture: bradleyphotos成都夜总会招聘.au

Fifth in the group 1 The Galaxy, Felines resumed from a six-week let-up to win the $125,000 Hawkesbury Rush (1100m) on Saturday as the $4.20 favourite carrying 57 kilograms.

The five-year-old mare, with Hugh Bowman aboard, hit the lead with about 200m to go and held on for a half-length win to provide the only highlight for the Hunter at the stand-alone meeting.

Lees said the Ortensia Stakes was an option for Felines, which is owned by well-known businessman Gerry Harvey,but left the door open to later sprints in Brisbane or Sydney.

He said the listed Lightning Handicap(1000m) atEagle Farm on June 3 was a possible next targetfor Felines, which would be nominated for the Ortensia Stakes.

“She pulled up well,” Lees said on Sunday.

“It was a good effort, she carried a good weight and beat a good field.She’s a consistent mare.”

As for her next assignment, Lees said: “Maybe Scone, or I might keep her for some nice races in Brisbane and also over the winter in Sydney, so we might just keep her runs spaced. We will just decide later.”

While undecided about Felines, Lees saidDal Cielo would be headed to the Ortensia Stakes. Dal Cielo, a two-time winner over 1000m in Sydney this year, was a last-start second in the group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 25.The four-year-old gelding will trial at Wyong on Monday and Lees said “he’ll run well fresh” at Scone.

Lees said Brook Road, eighth in the Hawkesbury Rush, was a potentialOrtensia Stakes starter but would more likely head to Brisbane a week later. Histhird runner in the Hawkesbury Rush, Clearly Innocent, was ninth but impressive at the finish on debut for the stable ahead of his Scone campaign.

The 2016 Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) champion for now-retired Scone trainer Greg Bennett will return to defend his title.Lees said Clearly Innocent would bebetter for the day out and “really hard to beat”on his Hawkesbury effort, which was his first race since last in the Chatham Stakes at Flemington on November 3.

Lees and Scone trainer Rodney Northam were winners at the Tamworth Cup meeting on Sunday.

Northam and Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson won a maiden with Dreamnomore but were fourth in the Cup, won by Timeless Prince,with After All That. Lees and Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons claimed the last, a class 2, with Sadhika.

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