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 Australian Racing News 
Saturday, May 27 2017

Trainer Kris Lees has been quick to send a message to officials after Clearly Innocent demolished the Gr. 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup field at Eagle Farm.

The first thing Lees said as he went into the enclosure was: "Don't move the Stradbroke Handicap to another track."

The state of the Eagle Farm surface was again a major topic of discussion today as it chopped up despite the fact there had been no rain for a week.

There has been some talk the Stradbroke on June 10 would be moved but Brisbane Racing Club officials have strenuously denied it will happen.

The heavy going was probably the reason Clearly Innocent, who had been second favourite in early markets, opened at $12 before being backed into $10 for the 1300-metre race.

He showed the track was no worry when he beat the heavily backed Jungle Edge ($7 into $5) by three lengths, with three and three-quarter lengths to Counterattack ($6) in third place.

It was Lees' fourth Group One win of the year and followed his victory in last week's Gr. 1 Doomben Cup.

Clearly Innocent was previously trained by Greg Bennett, who was one of the first to congratulate Lees on the win. Bennett retired from training to take up a position with Aquis Farms and Clearly Innocent has won two of his three starts for Lees.

"Greg looked after Clearly innocent very well early in his career and I am the one getting the benefit," Lees said.

"It was a bit of a worry with the step up from Listed class at his last start win to a Group One but he has taken the step now. He's a very good horse and it's on to the Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight."

Asked what weight he wanted for Clearly Innocent in the Stradbroke, Lees said: "Just enough so Hugh (jockey Bowman) can ride him.

"He was a query in the class today but I was confident I would take that step," Bowman said. "He's a really impressive horse. I wanted to be closer in the run but I didn't want to push out of his comfort zone."

Jockey Kevin Forrester said Jungle Edge had become a bunny for others to chase but it was a good run.

Brad Rawiller, who rode the favourite Black Heart Bart into fifth, said the ground had not suited the gelding and he was not at his best.

Posted by: AT 03:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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