Illecebrous start to Ramornie Day for Lees stable
AUSTRALIAN racing powerhouse Kris Lees had the perfect start to Ramornie Handicap Day in Grafton after Illecebrous snatched a result from heavy favourite Divine Approach.
Rain peppered the track at the Clarence River Jockey Club for the $30,000 Group 1 Horse Feeds F&M Class 2 Showcase Handicap 1100m sprint, but it was the three-year-old Lees-trained filly piloted by jockey Andrew Gibbons, pipping Savanna Jeune at the line.
Illecebrous started well, nestling in behind Sylvia's Memory at the front.
Brett Dodson's Miss Goodnight eased her way out of the race at the half way mark before the field tightened up around the bend.
Sylvia's Memory was positioned well but ran out of gas as Illecebrous and Dwayne Schmidt's Savanna Jeune stormed home for position one and two.
Lees stable representative Lucas Miller was pleased with the result to kick off Ramornie Handicap Day.
"It's a pleasing win. There's a lot of connections that can't be here today," Miller said.
"She's come on well since a recent win at Port (Macquarie). The favourite missed the kick so we got a bit of luck but you take it when you can get it.
"She's off pace and has a good turn off foot and today she was quick enough to get the win."
Gibbons rode the first of four for the day and said it was nice to get a bit of luck go his way.
"I was a little bit concerned that my horse was coming back in distance. I was concerned about the odds on Divine Approach, I thought he was going to be hard to beat," Gibbons said. "When that horse went amiss getting in his road and staying out of mine I took the shot and got the beautiful run through."
Lees will be hoping Hard Lady can get another for his stable in the $80,000 Tursa Grafton Guineas later on Ramornie Handicap Day