Kris Lees admits Goldstream faces a baptism of fire in Saturday’s 2016 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick, but is pleased with the condition of the classy Italian import leading into the feature race.
Goldstream more than stamped himself as a colt to follow through a short but impressive European career; highlighted with a barnstorming performance for a comfortable three length win in the Group 2 Italian Derby (2213m) in May last year.
Having trialled well in the lead up to his Australian debut in the 2016 All Aged Stakes, Lees revealed the race did not initially figure as his first target but has no doubts he will perform to a high standard over the distance and conditions at Randwick.
“I was going to run him in the Newcastle Newmarket but he drew the outside barrier on the inside track,” Lees told Racenet.
“I scratched him the day before the race then they were called off and because of a rule, he couldn’t be added back into the field when they moved the race to Rosehill.
“Then there wasn’t another race I deemed suitable to kick him off in so he’s been ready to go for a few weeks and I’ve been really happy with how he’s progressed in the last few weeks so we decided to have a crack at the All Aged and see what happens.
“1400 metres? I’m not sure, but he’s really come on in the last month.
“Saturday will give us a guide looking to the future.
“He acclimatising really well but I’m mindful that being from the Northern Hemisphere he’s only just turned four so he’s giving away six months in age against the other four-year-old in the race Malaguerra and they’ve got the same weight.
“He still looks a bit of a baby and I think he’ll be a different horse in the spring. There’s still a bit of growing to come I’d say.”
Lees said he is set to specific path for the entire this time but revealed a trip north during the Brisbane Winter Carnival is not out of the question, with the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) the obvious target.
“He may have one or two runs then put him away for the spring. That’s my first thought,” Lees said.
“I’m looking at races like the Hawkesbury Cup, maybe the Scone Cup or maybe the Hollindale.
“Obviously the Doomben Cup is after the Hollindale but I’m mindful with these foreigners not to go too far in their first prep.
“I’ve done it before and they’ve done really well but I don’t know that I got the same the next prep and I do think this horse will be a better horse next time through.
“I think this horse has a lot of improvement in him both physically and race wise.”
Goldstream is currently rated some chance of success in 2016 All Aged Stakes betting markets and can be taken at a quote of $13 with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.