Included in nominations for two events at Royal Randwick this weekend, trainer Kris Lees has revealed he is likely to accept a position in the final field of the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) for classy stayer Slow Pace.
Securing four wins and five minor places from just 22 competitive starts so far, Slow Pace finished fifth in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle first-up on September 17th; caught in a fast pace early along with several of his competitors and unable to sustain to the line.
Also included in nominations for the featured Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on Saturday, Lees said the step-up to 2000m is likely to play directly into the strengths of the Distorted Humour gelding, as is the competition likely to accept into the Group 3.
“He was strong through the line,” Lees told Racing Ahead of Slow Pace’s run in the Cameron Handicap.
“They walked up front in the small field, which is how the race looked like it would be run, and he has taken good improvement out of it.
“He had a solid hit out on the course proper at Broadmeadow this morning and his coat still hasn’t quiet come through, but I think this run will top him off and I think that he has a nice win in him at some stage.
“He is in two races, but at this stage we will head to the Craven Plate.
“It is only his second run in, but I think that the Epsom is a bit beyond him and I think that he can run well in the Craven Plate with the view that it will top him off for something down the line.”
Beginning his racing career abroad in France before transferring to Lees’ Broadmeadow stables at the conclusion of 2013, Slow Pace immediately laid his claims as one to watch over his maiden Australian racing preparation over autumn; finishing third in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) first-up, and while unable to match the late pace when 13th in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) returned to competitive form when third in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) on April 26th.
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